Gender Divided Bathrooms? Not for This Bay Area Elementary School

Miraloma Elementary school says goodbye to gender-divided restrooms
Miraloma Elementary school says goodbye to gender-divided restrooms

*By the time I get to the end of this article, I hope to have a clearer understanding of the issue it illuminates. Some stuff in the news you have to roll with, and work to understand it on the way. Like the elementary school in the Bay Area jumping on the LGBT accommodation train, with the first stop being to do away with, to my understanding thus far, the whole “Girls Room, Boys Room” thing.

Let’s see where this will take us.

The term being used for these outdated models is “Gender-Divided” bathrooms. And according to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco’s Miraloma Elementary School will switch up and uninstall them.


Because eight of the 370 student body don’t fit the gender norms. These students are said to be “kids who range from tomboys to transgender,” according to what principal Sam Bass told the Chronicle.

Here’s how it will all go down.

Gender-divided bathrooms (i.e. Boy-Girl, I get it now) will start to be phased out as the first grade class advances each year. In the meantime though, just to get the ball rolling, bathrooms used by kindergartners and first-graders will be converted to gender-neutral spaces (Scroll down to see symbol).

According to a letter posted on Miraloma’s website, the school principal writes that the change was “to allow all students to feel safe and supported, and comfortable to be who they are.”

California passed a law in 2013 requiring schools to allow students to use the bathroom best suited to their gender identity, a law San Francisco adopted a decade ago. But Miraloma’s policy, Bass writes on the school’s website, is “the first elementary school in the district to say [the law is] not good enough.”

...and HELLO to Inclusive restrooms
…and HELLO to Inclusive restrooms

Meanwhile, pro bono attorney Alison Bennington told the Chronicle that “It’s rare for schools to remove the boy-and-girl stick figures from all restrooms.”

And I would say, unfair, to the students who are not gender-neutral.

And according to a  2014 CBS News poll, 59% of Americans agree that transgender people should use bathrooms based on the gender they were assigned at birth, not the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.

Well if such a move is going to take place, San Francisco is the place for it’s initiation. The city is known for its open-arms policy; a reputation for accepting people for not only who they are, but whomever they want to be.

Principal Bass states parents at Miraloma have offered no resistance to the new plan so far. In fact, one parent of a boy cross-dresser (wears girls clothing) says it used to be traumatic in summer camp, when he had to use the bathroom.  Gender-divided bathrooms was such a challenge that he just urinated on himself.

Elementary school age children

Still, this writer had questions like, and bear with me here, if all bathrooms are now gender neutral, are their urinals in these bathrooms? And what if some of the other 362 students get uncomfortable using the restroom because, say, a traditional girl can now see a traditional boy pee?

I reached out to the school for answers, but I guess I wasn’t alone because no one was available for comment.

And I didn’t leave a message.

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