Edmonton

Morinville school washrooms go gender-neutral

A Catholic highschool in Morinville is about to turn their washrooms gender-neutral, a step towards being more inclusive for transgender students, says the school’s principal.

“We need to look after the needs of all our students,” says principal Todd Eistetter

Morinville community catholic school principal, Todd Eistetter, says designating several washrooms as gender-neutral is looking after the needs of all students at the school. (CBC)

A Catholic high school in Morinville is about to make its washrooms gender neutral, a step towards being more inclusive for transgender students.

"We need to look after the needs of all our students," said principal Todd Eistetter.   

"I think this is something that all schools need to consider ... all schools, regardless of what their background is."

He said the Morinville Community Catholic High School plans to make the switch in the next couple of weeks and will consult with students about how many washrooms will be designated gender neutral. 

Currently there are 10 washrooms in the school. Eight of those could change into gender-neutral washrooms, with one each designated for male students and female students.

Eistetter said it's an effort to make transgender students more comfortable.

The move by schools in the Greater St. Albert region towards greater inclusivity for transgender students contrasts sharply with the status of the Edmonton Catholic school board, which is struggling to draft such a policy for its students and schools. 

Board chair Debbie Engel said she knows of five boards that have policies for transgender students, including language around gender-neutral washrooms.

Another high school working towards making washrooms gender neutral is Paul Kane High School in St. Albert.

"It's a topic that we want to get right to the extent that students feel safe they feel well and they can grow into who they're destined to actually be within this world," said school superintendent David Keohane.

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