New Brunswick

Moncton school washrooms accommodate transgender students

École L'Odyssée has put up signs outside two small private washrooms at the Moncton school to accommodate transgender students and help promote inclusion.

2 private washrooms at École L'Odyssée can be used by anyone, but new signs include transgender icon

A new sign outside a washroom at École L'Odyssée indicates that it can be used by anyone, including transgender individuals. (David Bartlett/CBC)

École L'Odyssée has put up signs outside two small private washrooms at the Moncton school to accommodate transgender students and help promote inclusion.

The washrooms, which have been in the  high school since it was built, can be used by anyone, but now have new signs that include an icon to represent transgender people.

The idea came from the student group INDIGO, the gay, lesbian, transgender alliance.

"It didn't come from necessarily from kids that were transgendered, but kids that felt that their friends or maybe other people would benefit from having gender neutral bathrooms,"said France Breault, who is the staff advisor to INDIGO and the school's social worker.

"We felt the need to just identify bathrooms that would be for anyone that maybe felt uncomfortable or maybe not safe in public bathrooms. So this would be a place where they could be, feel just safe. It's just for anybody."

The initiative was launched in May 12 to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia.

Students were shown videos in class at that time to promote the washrooms.

"What I got, is just a positive reactions or no reaction at all … and that's the point," said Breault. "It's to get people just to — it's part of life, it's just something that, it's there, so why not just make sure that we include them."

The school has introduced new initiatives over the last number of years to promote inclusion. Last year, the school also added an inclusion flag.