‘Queer Spectrum Alliance’ led push for high school’s transgender bathrooms

‘Queer Spectrum Alliance’ led push for high school’s transgender bathrooms
A Vashon, Wash., high school is creating two transgender bathrooms at the request of some students. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Members of the Queer Spectrum Alliance at Vashon Island High School in Washington led a movement to establish two “all gender” bathrooms at the campus, according to a report by The News Tribune. The 525-student campus is scheduled to celebrate the opening of the bathrooms during a school-wide assembly on Jan. 2.

The Queer Spectrum Alliance is the school’s largest club, Michael Soltman, superintendent of the Vashon Island School District, told the News-Tribune.

“It’s our largest club, with 75 members,” Soltman said. “It’s about kids who have respect and support for kids of all genders.”

In December, the students hosted a “gender diversity education” course for their peers and parents.

The students are also are credited with bringing the project proposal before the school board for approval. The project comes with a $25,000 price tag, according to the report. The updates included removing urinals in the boy’s bathroom and installing higher stalls that provide greater privacy. Signs were changed to read “All Gender Restroom.” There are now two gender-less and two gender-specific bathrooms on the school’s second floor.

According to the report, information about the bathroom change was sent out to parents and the district received no complaints.

Vashon Island High School Principal Danny Rock said the new bathrooms are a way to prevent students from “having to explain or justify their bathroom use to anyone else.” It also prevents students from being bullied, he told the News-Tribune.

The school is the first campus in the state to convert gender-specific bathrooms to all-gender versions, according to the report. Other schools in Washington have constructed additional bathrooms for all genders.

In February, the Trump administration revoked federal guidelines put into place by Barack Obama that allowed public school students to use the bathrooms and facilities based on their gender identity. Actions by the Trump administration and Obama led to a wave of national debates, protests, and lawsuits over the rights of transgender students.