COLORADO SPRINGS — In this 360° Perspective we're talking gender-neutral bathrooms.
Denver Public Schools board members unanimously passed a resolution to require each of its schools to create a single all-gender bathroom. This is happening in southern Colorado schools as well.
The Denver resolution was presented by board member Tay Anderson who wants them installed by next fall.
For supporters, the restrooms are a way for the district to reaffirm its support for students. They say they're single-occupant bathrooms and many of the schools have the infrastructure they need to create them- in the way of faculty bathrooms.
"No student is put into fear or intimidation of having to go into a gender-conforming restroom that they may not identify with," Anderson said, "Simply what this resolution does is affirming out support to the LGBTQA+ community."
They say the resolution goes beyond just bathrooms. It supports students and staff to be "out" with their sexual orientation or gender identity. It allows employees to hang rainbow flags to show support and allows students to self-report their gender identity without the consent of their parents. They also push for federal and state governments to eliminate binary categories that may stop students from self identifying outside the gender they were assigned at birth.
Anderson says he knows people are uncomfortable and expects some will launch a recall effort because of this issue.
"From the beginning to the end of this resolution, it is pure ideological believe," Glenn Stanton with Focus on the Family said, "The school is for learning, it's not for any kind of political action."
Stanton doesn't support every aspect of the resolution but he is in support of single-occupant restrooms saying it's a reasonable solution. What he objects to is allowing students who identify as a different gender than assigned at birth to use the restroom they feel appropriate, because he feels it will make other students uncomfortable.
There are a lot of different opinions on this topic. A lot of parents say the restrooms are a good idea, they add privacy and prevent bullying. Other parents say it's a waste of money and resources and they worry the restrooms may be misused or even create more bullying.
In southern Colorado, District 11 says they have some gender-neutral restrooms but are proactively working to incorporate more. They are starting with the high schools.
In Academy District 20, all their new schools built in the last two years include them, and Liberty and Rampart High Schools got them when they made improvements. They say when they build new schools or make improvements they will add the option there as well.
We reached out to District 60 in Pueblo and are still waiting to hear back.
Denver Public Schools could be the first district to add them to all schools.
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