Gender-neutral bathroom is relocated


Nima Pendar

The first floor female bathroom is now designated the gender-neutral bathroom.

Christine Oh, Co Editor-in-Chief

The second floor female restroom had been designated the gender-neutral bathroom at Cal High since the end of the 2017-18 school year.

But when students returned to campus after the winter break, they found the gender-neutral bathroom had been moved to therst oor women’s bathroom.

The change was implement- ed because of concerns over general supervision and safety.

GSA adviser Brandon Quick said the relocation of the gen- der-neutral restroom on therst oor allowed for bettersupervision.

“The second oor tends tohave lower supervision than therst oor,” Quick said. “In thisway it would be a safer place for anyone who wants to use them.”

In addition to the extra super-vision, the rst- oor locationallows students to utilize the gender neutral bathrooms more easily.

“It’s more heavily traveled[and] just geographically morecentered,” Quick said. “There’s higher traffic and more availability.”

Others agreed that the relo-cation resulted in bene ts tostudents who use it.

“I think it’s important,” Spanish teacher Michelle Anderson said. “Those who need it should be able to access it easily.”

But many female studentsexpressed concerns about hav- ing one less bathroom. Otherstudents expressed concernsabout the gender-neutral bath- room being misused.

“Honestly, the bathroom is mostly used for social interactions,” said junior Hannah Milter, co-president of the Conservative Club.

Several seniors shared similar thoughts about the restroom’s misuses.

“Most people call it the smoke room,” senior Joshua Choi said.

Despite the continuous misuses of the restroom, there have been many positive reviews of the gender-neutral bathroom.

“I think that the bathroom has made a safe space for those who do not feel safe in the male and female bathrooms,” sophomore Felix Lockhart said.

Students like Lockhart agree that the bathroom has led to a better community on campus.

“Despite the vaping, I reallydo appreciate the thought of the bathroom overall,” said a freshman boy who wished to remain anonymous. “I like how the school is looking in a more open-minded way.”

Cal staff are also appreciating efforts done by the school to make everyone feel more welcome on campus.

“I think we [can] probably all agree that students, staff, and admin [are] doing what [they] can to make people feel safe and welcome,” history teacher Hannah Cheng said.

With more students using therestroom because of the new location, there are hopes that it will result in more safety for those students who need to use that restroom for its intended purposes.

“I was very excited for thesole purpose of having an all-gender restroom for students who feel uncomfortable usinga certain bathroom when they need to,” Cheng said. “It’s an awesome thing to have.”

In the past couple years, discussions about issues like the gender-neutral bathroom have skyrocketed in a positive way.

“It’s a conversation that’s happening now. People are in what I would call the learning phase of it,” Quick said. “I feel a sense of community both within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community on campus.”

This attitude is re ected byseveral district actions, includ- ing a Jan. 14 summit to discuss giving LGBTQ+ students a safe space to change for P.E.

The meeting at the district office included GSA club representatives from each of the district’s four high schools, Superintendent Rick Schmittand Deputy SuperintendentToni Taylor.

The general proposal was to utilize the team rooms near the locker rooms as a specialized area for LGBTQ+ students to use, but plans have not beennalized.

Quick, who has been at Cal since 2004, is very impressed with the progress Cal has made regarding LGBTQ+ issues.

“It’s not seeing major shiftsovernight, but little shifts every day,” Quick said. “The progress is there. It’s very visible.”