Gender-neutral bathrooms to be seen in Schreiber?

Zareen Johnson, Graphics Editor

288 people and counting have signed sophomore Jay Peierl’s petition for a gender-neutral bathroom to be added to Schreiber’s facilities.

The petition, posted on Change.org and spread through Facebook, requested the implementation of these bathrooms to make the school a more comfortable place for transgender students.

This is not a new request; trans students at Schreiber have struggled to find a safe and convenient bathroom in previous years, resorting to the nurse’s office and Principal Mr. Ira Pernick’s bathroom in the main office.

The demand for a gender-neutral bathroom has been gaining more support as word has spread to staff and the student body.

“There might be other kids who haven’t come out yet but will feel more comfortable with the existence of these bathrooms,” said sophomore Isabella Henderson.

The administration has been discussing ways to make the school a better place for trans students since last year, including the gender-neutral bathroom, and is now taking action.

“This is something that will make life a lot easier for trans students, and the fact that it’s finally happening shows that Schreiber is moving into the future,” said senior Lexy Cruz.

Principal Mr. Ira Pernick has written up a proposal for the change and will be presenting it to a compact committee in late October.

According to Assistant Principal Mr. David Miller, this process will entail a number of steps. The school will start by relabeling some of the bathrooms as designated gender-neutral bathrooms that anyone can use, regardless of gender.

Currently, the administration wants to change a bathroom on both the first and second floors.

“We have to do this quickly,” said Mr. Miller. “We have to do our very best to keep the students in this school safe.”

Although technical processes like the design and installation of signs may take up to a month, the administration hopes that these changes will be put into effect as quickly as possible.

Beyond those more immediate changes, the administration is looking into cosmetic changes that may need to be made, like elongating stall doors, which may be integrated into the renovation bond passed last school year.

Student input will be used to determine what the best possible way to go would be.

The administration, including Mr. Pernick, plans to speak with individual students as well as Schreiber’s Gay-Straight Alliance, a club that strongly supports these changes.

“We have questions about the needs of students,” said Mr. Pernick.  “Issues like this are ones that I learn more about from talking to students, so we rely on input to help us make these decisions.”

Although not every student may want to use these bathrooms, it is hard to find students who do not support the change.

The bathrooms will make life a great deal easier for those who need them, and for those who don’t, they now have the option to use the gender-neutral bathrooms or whichever ones they were using before.

“This change will put our student body’s comfort levels to the test. It could bring people closer,” said junior Matt Sanchez.

The staff is confident in the ability of the student body to be accepting and to make the change go smoothly and easily.

“I just have to pee,” said Peierls.