Lemme Elementary offers students multi-stall gender neutral bathrooms in addition to gender specific bathrooms

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Every Iowa City School has gender-neutral bathrooms for students and faculty to use.

Officials with the Iowa City Community School District said gender-neutral bathrooms in school buildings allow students to have a choice and feel safe when they need to use the restroom. Lemme Elementary is the one school with a designated restroom with multiple gender-neutral stalls.

“The ones at Lemme have multi-stalls, but they’re ceiling to floor so they’re really personal,” Laura Gray, director of diversity & cultural responsiveness for the district, said.

Students have the option to use gender-neutral restrooms or gender-specific restrooms. Either way, Gray said there’s often supervision.

“Most times, when there’s multiple students going to use the restroom, there’s supervision,” Gray said. “So, like, there’s adult supervision when the whole class goes to use the restroom or when multiple students go to use the restroom.”

Lemme is the only school that currently has these specific gender-neutral bathrooms. They came as part of a recent building addition. But school officials say the concept has always been included in administrative guidelines that help keep the LGBTQ+ community safe.

“They really just say, in addition to keeping students safe and away from harassment, so on and so forth, here’s an addendum, some things you need to remember that we’re expecting everyone to adhere to,” Gray said.

But, they emphasize that these restrooms are for anyone to use at any time.

“Sometimes we just have students who want more privacy and they’ll choose the gender-neutral restrooms,” Gray said. “So it’s really just a student preference.”

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