“SACRAMENTO — The Assembly approved on Thursday legislation that would ensure students could participate in school activities and use facilities like bathrooms based on their gender identity, not their physical sex.” (Megerian Chris. “Assembly Approves Bill on Gender Identity in Schools.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 09 May 2013. Web. 23 Aug. 2013.)
This whole thing is stupid. You want to eliminate the “I feel like a woman” vs “I’m still a guy” problem? Then make single stall dressing units, with solid walls and a closing door like a clothing store’s dressing room.
Wow. That was hard.
Make 10-15-20 of these in a row in a wide, hallway-like area with benches for kids waiting to change out. Have the PE teacher waiting in the “hallway” with all the fully-clothed kids. They are supervised as well as private. I NEVER liked dressing out for PE, from 6th grade up. Most of us huddled in corners or waited patiently for 1 of the 3 bathroom stalls to become available.
In fact, I’d bet most of you didn’t like it either. Let’s see:
I’m already hearing people say, “Private dressing-room-like stalls for changing into PE clothes will be expensive!” Seriously? How about 15 million law suits as an alternative when all these boys figure out they can go into the girls’ locker room. And please tell me you didn’t just think, “No they won’t. They would know that wasn’t why this law was created.”
According to my husband: if the stall was built with an inexpensive plywood, covered on all sides by sheets of Formica laminate, with a full-sized door giving the occupant complete privacy while changing, allowing for some hooks for clothing, and also a bench to sit on it would cost about $500 a stall. Ok, so give me 20 of them in a row for, what? $10K. What does it cost to build a locker room? How much bullying have you prevented? How many kids who weren’t participating now start dressing out? What about the effect of self-image? Teasing? Or, heck, what about the fact the girls can’t stand around talking to each other and not coming out for the start of PE class?
Well, there’s that problem solved.
Now to tackle the toilets:
Your daughter still wants to try to pee standing up? Your son wants to investigate the feminine hygiene trash bins (AKA: Treasure Boxes)?
Again the solution is simple:
Make single stall restrooms that have a urinal and a toilet. Put 5 or 6 (or more) side by side where you might normally have girl/boy restrooms. Slightly more expensive? Yes, but realistically not that much more. I’m picturing Porta-Potties, only nicer. Or nicer until the kids scratch graffiti and gang symbols all over the laminate covered plywood. And again, the walls have got to go ceiling to floor like they do for the adult bathrooms, with the revision that there must be a short 1-tile-high “base” for the wooden wall to rest on so that it doesn’t absorb liquids spilled, splattered, or leaked onto the floor. If you want to be nice and install one of those fake “I’m a piece of shiny metal pretending to be a mirror,” go for it. You’re still only talking about $750 a stall, $1,000 for the handicapped versions.
Put these side by side with a sink outside the toilet stalls (a lot of schools already do this) where teachers can supervise student water-play, and you eliminate the cost of putting the sink in each stall along with the fascination in knowing what the other side has in its bathroom.
Done. Gender crisis demoted to personal adolescent decision making skill test.
You need one stall per every 50 students, with several of those being handicapped stalls. Realistically, the single stalls along a wall are about the same cost as a multi-user, single sex restroom, only there are no girls watching the boys pee in the urinal and on their shoes (which will happen when they see the girl watching).
Weighed against the illogicality of the new “law” and the many lawsuits to follow, Building individual stalls for both PE changing rooms and for restroom use is a more viable and less complicated, less intrusive, response to a child who doesn’t feel like Carter is a boy’s name anymore.
Plus, kids like privacy, even if they’re confused about who they are (and what kid isn’t?).