PHOTO: Some staff bathrooms at Davis High have been converted to all-gender restrooms.
By Eve Brunette,
Changes on Davis campuses over the past two years have made it easier for transgender and nonbinary students to find a bathroom that suits their needs, but there is still work to be done according to advocates.
In 2015, Davis High installed its first two all-gender restrooms in the P and C buildings. A third was added when the All Student Center opened last year.
Nonbinary is a broad term for gender identities that are not exclusively male or female.
Finley Lindberg is a senior at DHS who identifies as agender (having no gender), an identity that falls under the nonbinary category. Before the all-gender restrooms were established, Lindberg used the nurse’s office restroom, a major inconvenience as it was often all the way across campus from their classes.
Brian Williams, secretary of the Montgomery Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is a strong advocate for the addition of all-gender restrooms in elementary schools. Williams has a child who needs the all gender restrooms, so he made sure the subject was consistently addressed at meetings and not overlooked. “It wasn’t in their experience,” Williams said.
As a parent of a transgender student, he was able to contribute his perspective when the school devised its master building plan for the next 15 years.
Dianna Huculak is a DHS Race and Social Justice teacher, and fully supports having all-gender restrooms on Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) campuses. Single stall restrooms that used to be staff only were converted to all-gender restrooms for students, leaving teachers without bathrooms close to their classrooms. According to Huculak, a large issue now is a lack of facilities for teachers.
“There’s not enough bathrooms, and it needs to be addressed,” Huculak said.
Measure M was passed on Nov 6 last year. It provides $150 million to help DJUSD update, improve and build new campus facilities such as bathrooms. One of its purposes is to accommodate all students.
Provision AB 1266 in the California Education Code requires that students be permitted to participate in school programs, activities, and use facilities consistent with their gender identity, no matter what gender is listed in the student’s records. This means that nonbinary students legally need to have access to a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.
The provision went into effect on Jan 1, 2014. In the fall of 2015, DHS implemented its first all-gender restroom that was easily accessible to the whole student body.
According to David Burke, director of facilities, maintenance and operations in DJUSD, if new buildings with bathrooms are constructed in the future, all-gender restrooms will be included.
This means that elementary schools such as Montgomery will have all-gender restrooms in the future, enacted by Provision AB 1266 and financed by Measure M.