The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) deserves a big round of virtual applause today, after announcing plans to implement gender-inclusive washrooms in its schools across the city. The washrooms aim to promote inclusion to all students, regardless of gender identity.
“The Education Act requires schools and school boards to provide safe, inclusive and accepting learning environments to support the achievement and well-being of all students, including students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender,” said the province's Education Minister Liz Sandals, who lauded the Board's plans.
While 50 or so of its schools already have gender-inclusive washrooms, TDSB vowed to roll out these facilities at every one of its 600 schools. The first such washroom opened in 2013, following months of student lobbying.
Since 2012, the Ontario Human Rights Code has included transgender individuals, so it makes sense that schools put paid to the province's legislation.
“Everybody gets a chance to use the washroom,” wrote an anonymous parent whose transgender child had been pulled from school due to bullying. “If there's anybody who is gender-neutral or something, they can use that washroom instead of everybody teasing them about going into the girls’ or boys’ [washroom].”
Though no timeline has yet been announced for the roll-out, other boards will hopefully TDSB's lead by offering a supplemental option for the kids who need it.