‘You have to make sure everyone feels comfortable’ - Washington High School opens ‘privacy restrooms’

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 10:19 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Students at Cedar Rapids’ Washington High school can now use ‘privacy restrooms’

The principal said this option isn’t in response to recent legislation... last week Governor Reynolds signing the so-called “bathroom bill” that requires students to use the facilities that match their biological sex, not gender identity.

The bathrooms were originally designed as staff restrooms. But after a few years of planning, school leaders decided to make them a space for all students to feel comfortable.

Any student who would feel more comfortable using the privacy restrooms can simply head to the office and ask for a key. They then have that key with them whenever they need to use it.

Principal Darius Ballard said it’s all about listening to the needs of the students.

“Our job is to be an inclusive environment and the only way you can be inclusive, you have to make sure everyone feels comfortable and bathrooms are the bedrock of being able to be comfortable in the space. And so we knew right away before we can educate a kid, we have to give them their space, their opportunity to feel comfortable,” he said.

Ballard says the privacy restrooms have been in the work for the past couple of years and are not a direct response to the recent bathroom bill signed into law by Governor Reynolds last week.

The bathrooms officially opened to students last Friday, with students participating in a door-unlocking ceremony.