All New York City schools are ordered to have a single-stall bathroom for transgender students by January 2018, just over six months away, city officials said.
“These facilities provide an additional safe space for students and do not require special permission or medical documentation,” a press release from the Department of Education (DOE) stated.
The first phase of single stall bathrooms will be rolled out by June, with the rest to be converted by January. The DOE plans to work with school custodians to identify single stall bathrooms that can be converted for student use.
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“No one should ever feel shame or fear discrimination and violence when using a restroom,” City Councilman Daniel Dromm said in a statement. “For many disabled, transgender and gender-nonconforming children and young people with medical conditions, this simple act can be a traumatizing experience.”
Trans access to bathrooms has been a battleground in the culture wars and legal wrangling over trans rights. In Pennsylvania, a lawsuit was recently filed by students against a school district for exposing them to transgender children in a locker room.
Schools chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a statement Tuesday that single-stall bathrooms would go toward creating a “safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment.”