The Official Website of Beaverton High School's Student-Run Newspaper

Beaverton Hummer

The Official Website of Beaverton High School's Student-Run Newspaper

Beaverton Hummer

The Official Website of Beaverton High School's Student-Run Newspaper

Beaverton Hummer

Gender-neutral restrooms lacking at BHS, current rebuild plans address the issue

Beaverton has two gender-neutral restrooms for a school of 1,400 students.
Juniper Lanford
Beaverton has two gender-neutral restrooms for a school of 1,400 students.

There are currently two gender-neutral restrooms at BHS. One in the main office and one in the cafeteria. The restroom in the cafeteria is labeled as a staff restroom. However, BHS teacher and GSA Advisor, Jeffrey Buckingham, has stated that “students that ask counselors, staff, GSA club or other students” can use that restroom.

There was an additional gender-neutral restroom in room 403 of the West Annex. According to BHS teacher, Emily Lux, that restroom was replaced by gendered portable restrooms. This means that there are only two gender-neutral restrooms in a school of over 1,400 students, spread out over the campus. 

The current placement of gender-neutral restrooms at BHS singles out non-binary students and creates a difficult situation for them because of the distance between some classrooms and the restrooms. In addition, a BHS senior, who preferred to remain anonymous, reported that Merle Davies (MD) had gender-neutral restrooms and expressed sadness at the closure of these restrooms along with the rest of MD ahead of its destruction. “I coped” with the loss of the MD restrooms, said the student, and having more gender-neutral restrooms in the main building “would have been a lot better”. 

A number of students at Beaverton were affected by the recent restroom closures. The 2023 Beaverton School District High School Student Survey included an optional survey question about gender identity. 9% of students who responded identify as Non-Binary or a third gender (other than male or female) and 6% of students who responded preferred to self-describe their gender identity. This means that about 1,758 students district-wide identify as a gender other than female or male.

While this is not as many students that reported identifying as female (47%) or male (39%), it is still a significant number to merit some concern that BHS only has two gender-neutral restrooms. It is worth noting that this was a district-wide survey and was optional. However, if it’s assumed that the percentages hold for each of the different high schools in the district, then that would result in about 240 students at BHS who identify as a gender other than female or male and don’t have the same access to restrooms as their peers.

This restroom issue will be addressed in the new building. There will be five multi-stall gender-neutral restrooms, with up to eight stalls in each. This will make up half of the restrooms for students in the new building. 

The current plan for the distribution of these restrooms involves spreading them throughout the school. There will be two gender-neutral restrooms and two gendered restrooms on the first floor, two gender-neutral restrooms and one gendered restroom on the second floor, and one gender-neutral restroom and two gendered restrooms on the third floor. 

Current plans for the BHS rebuild also include gender-neutral locker rooms. However,  according to Gabby Urenda, Bond Communications Specialist, it is “up to the school on how staff decides to manage them.” Even so, BHS students who were impacted by the lack of gender-neutral restrooms have stated that the new school’s current plan is “pretty cool.”

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About the Contributor
Juniper Lanford, Staff Writer
Juniper is a freshman at Beaverton High School who writes articles for The Hummer. They enjoy talking about glaciers and reading.

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