Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) revealed that the board is considering the installation of floor-to-ceiling stalls with communal sink areas as a way to implement gender-neutral restrooms in all its schools. This decision comes nearly two years after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted in a girl's bathroom in the district.
“From what I saw, there were a lot of other issues addressed by having bathrooms that were integrated in hallways and gave complete privacy,” LCSB member Atoosa Reaser said at a board meeting in March.
LCPS is also looking into the option of building private bathrooms in schools as well as keeping single-sex facilities available.
According to 7News, $11 million is being spent on piloting this option at Loudoun Valley High School and Broad Run High School.
“LCPS is currently researching those options, as well as others, to determine what works best for the division in order to meet VDOE requirements and balance student and staff safety with privacy,” an LCPS spokesperson told 7News.
The school board is also reviewing its school locker room facilities.
“My hope is that we look into considering all bathrooms are single-use bathrooms, including the locker rooms, as well. It will be a big undertaking. It will require a huge amount of dollars,” Loudoun County School Board member Harris Mahedavi said at the March board meeting.
One board member said money is not the only concern.
“We are having females in our schools who are experiencing males come into their bathrooms and they’re being told when they bring this concern up, they’re being told that they can use a single-use restroom, effectively leave their own designated space to go use a different restroom or seek out counseling. And that’s something we need to address,” Tiffany Polifko said at the March 14 meeting.
In 2021, the school board passed policy 8040, which allows students to choose which bathrooms and changing rooms they use based on their gender identity, not the material reality of their biological sex.
The school district became the center of heated controversy after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted in a school bathroom by a boy who was allegedly wearing a skirt. The girl’s father accused the school of attempting to cover up his daughter’s rape.
A 13-year-old girl was recently left traumatized after she was allegedly assaulted in a gender-neutral high school bathroom in Coventry, England. According to the Daily Mail, the girl was left battered and bruised after a teenage boy tried to force his way into a cubicle to 'humiliate' her.
Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration is currently rewriting the Department of Education’s Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students that were written by former Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam.
Youngkin recently called for more gender-neutral bathrooms to be built in Virginia schools, “so people can use a bathroom that they in fact are comfortable with.”
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