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Park City High School unveils two new ‘All Gender’ restrooms

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Posted at 9:45 PM, Feb 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-12 23:45:28-05

PARK CITY, Utah -- Park City High School now has two non-gender specific restrooms.

"This isn't an issue about personal beliefs, its about creating a safe and comfortable learning environment for all students," said senior Adam Snyder.

Snyder is a Student Council member who, along with the school's Gay-Straight Alliance Club, worked to get the restrooms officially recognized by the school. For the past few years, transgender students had been using a set of faculty restrooms located near the school's office from time to time.

Principal Bob O'Connor said it started with a phone call a few years ago.

"I had a parent call and let me know she had a transgendered child and asked if we could provide a safe environment for her to use the bathroom," he said.

Snyder became aware of the unofficial option, but after reading about publicly recognized non-gender specific restrooms on college campuses, he felt Park City High School could offer them as well.

"I knew it would take some convincing, but its a really important issue," he said.

Snyder made a presentation on the topic to staff members of the Park City School District during a meeting last fall.

"When people don't understand this issue, it's from a lack of education more than anything else," he said.

When he later asked Principal O'Connor to create a designated non-gender specific restroom, change came about quickly.

"I didn't see any harm in that," O'Connor said, adding "It was a ten dollar swap on the sign."

The new sign posted less than two weeks ago reads: "All Gender Restrooms". Beyond the sign are two, small single stall restrooms for individual use.

Noticing the sign for the first time, teacher Mary Morgan commented: "I think it speaks volumes for our students to lead in that direction. I thought it was great to make all students feel included and welcome."

She doesn't mind that the restrooms once restricted to faculty are now shared.

Principal O'Connor said, so far, he hasn't received any "push back" from within his school community.