By Sophie Hefter
and Kyra Williams
Mira Costa Principal Dr. Ben Dale announced in an email on Wednesday that the Costa campus will feature new gender-neutral bathrooms next school year that will be on the north side of Costa’s campus.
According to Costa Guidance Counselor Jennifer Wildenberg, during a talk with parents and members of the Gender, Sexuality Alliance Club, it was mentioned that students had difficulties using Costa’s restrooms comfortably.
“I know that a lot of times it is extremely uncomfortable for trans students to use the bathroom of their gender assigned at birth, and it can lead to a lot of awkward experiences, so the fact that the district is taking a step to prevent this is huge,” junior Camille Randolph said. “Hopefully, [the gender-neutral bathrooms] will allow students to feel safer on campus and foster a more accepting climate for both the trans and LGBTQ+ communities as a whole.”
There is currently one set of gender-neutral bathrooms located upstairs in the administration building, that is accessible to students. The staff bathrooms by Stadium Way will soon become designated unisex bathrooms as well.
“The response from the staff has been overwhelmingly positive,” Dale said. “We make student-centered decisions and if they need help, we provide it.”
The bathrooms will be labelled as “Staff/Unisex” and each will be a single-stall space with a lock. According to Dale, the bathrooms are meant to create a safer, more comfortable environment for all students. The bathrooms have been working well and have been respected as a space for both students and staff, he said.
“The fear that I have is that students don’t feel comfortable to come talk to us, and that bothers me,” Dale said. “I’ll do whatever I can to make students feel like it’s okay to come up to us and say what [they] don’t feel comfortable with and have a conversation.”