Word Count: 400
By KYLIE BADOLATO
The fact that there is a gender-neutral restroom available to use by all students and staff is unknown by a lot of Masuk’s population. The gender neutral restroom at Masuk was created in this building during April of last year, which was located in the K Hallway, and was claimed to be available for use. However, an issue arose when students went to use it. This restroom has remained locked consistently, causing an uproar amongst students here at Masuk. Additionally, the location of the gender neutral restroom was a concern to a lot of students. Students had to travel across the whole school to get to the gender neutral restroom in the K Hall, isolated from the majority of classrooms. Jessica Champagne had some things to say on the matter.
Jessica Champagne, the leader of the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) here at Masuk has claimed that the locking of the gender-neutral bathroom was “not intentional” and it was solely an issue with the door locking itself. Champagne was very quick to assure that the restroom was never locked on purpose:
“Mr. Swensen said he wasn’t aware that it (gender-neutral restroom) was being locked. As of a few weeks ago…It was never intentionally being locked,” she began.
As for other staff that are in authority, Champagne addressed that Steven Swensen, the school principal, has been tending to this issue:
“Mr. Swensen has been very responsive when any concerns are brought to him.”
Moving the gender-neutral restroom near the guidance office became a few-month-long ordeal, but it has been done. Students advocated and Mr. Swensen listened! As of now, the gender neutral restrooms are available for use near the guidance office, rather than in the K Hall, making it easily accessible to anyone who would like to use it. Through the secondary Pupil Services door, there is a table standing near the entrance with a blue lanyard with a key, which is the key that unlocks the restroom. The restroom is available for use during all school hours. Additionally, there is a sign on the door of both restrooms saying this: “Anyone can use this restroom, regardless of gender identity or expression.” By moving the gender-neutral restroom and making it accessible to people of all identities, Masuk is taking one step forward regarding creating an equal learning space for all people.