The Chicago Public School District (CPS) is changing its signage for restrooms in all schools requiring the schools to adopt signage which no longer is separated into boys’ and girls’ restrooms but rather open to members of both sexes.
CPS released a video featuring Camie Pratt, the district’s Chief Title IX Officer and Deb Spraggins, the district’s Deputy Chief Title IX Officer, as they stated:
The new school year is off to a strong start as we’ve welcome our students back to our school buildings five days each week. On top of ensuring that each of our schools is a safe learning environment, we’re also taking steps to create more inclusive and supportive schools. One change that will be implemented this school year relates to our school bathrooms.
In compliance with new federal guidelines, all CPS students and staff will have fair and equitable access to bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity. We will be providing all schools with updated signage that makes our bathrooms more inclusive. It will identify the fixtures available in each restroom and make it clear that all restrooms are open for use by anyone who feels comfortable.
Staff will continue to have “Staff-Only” restrooms available to them. This is an incredibly important step to increase gender equity for all, which is why we will be requiring all schools to post this signage by December 1 of this school year. Our district’s Office of Student Protections and Title IX is also working on a long-term plan to create more permanent signage for our bathrooms.
Some examples of the signs state: “This is a gender-neutral restroom with multiple stalls. It is open to users of any gender identity or expression.” “Men’s +: This restroom has both urinals and stalls. All who feel comfortable are welcome to use this restroom.” “Women’s +: This restroom has stalls. All who feel comfortable are welcome to use this restroom.”
ICYMI: We’re requiring all schools to adopt new signage to make our restrooms more inclusive. This is a big step forward for gender equity for our students and staff. pic.twitter.com/4JPBdd1jQy
— CPS – Chicago Public Schools (@ChiPubSchools) November 30, 2021
Some comments responding on social media included:
My girls will not feel comfortable sharing a bathroom with boys. Who is making these ridiculous decisions? Who is making sure girls are not harassed or bullied in these stalls? Where can my child get privacy to ensure no boy will try to peek at her while she is in a stall?
This is backwards, not acceptable. What about the girls that have their periods that are already uncomfortable in their [restrooms] now their being subjected to having boys in there too? NO!!!!!
Wow, I guess nobody learned anything from the sexual assaults that took in place in Virginia because of similar policies. My child will never attend a school with such policies that endanger students.
School restrooms are a prime location for harrassment and bullying. I am concerned for female students’ safety and self-esteem. Parents need to weigh in before this goes district wide! Why not designate 1-2 gender neutral restrooms/school while keeping the rest gender specific?