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Montgomery Co. Public Schools to look into more ‘all-gender’ bathrooms

At the new Rising Hill Elementary School in Kansas City, Mo., gender neutral student bathrooms have a common sink area for washing and individual, locking, toilet stalls that can be used by boys or girls. Principal Kate Place gave a tour of the facilities on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018. The school is in the North Kansas City school district. (Keith Myers/The Kansas City Star via AP)

Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland’s largest school system, plans to look into the cost of of putting more “all-gender” bathrooms in schools.

“We’ll take a look at retrofit as well as construction,” Montgomery County Public Schools CEO Andrew Zuckerman told school board members at a meeting last week.

Zuckerman brought up the issue after a Bethesda mother of two high school children asked the board to consider it.

She said it should be considered for children who are uncomfortable about using gender-specific restrooms.

“This means no girls’ rooms and no boys’ rooms — just restrooms,” she said.

“Kids are afraid to use the bathrooms because of bullying. This (all-gender bathrooms) is the answer for nonconforming kids and all kids who do not use the bathroom during the school day.”

The all-gender bathrooms being advocated would include private stalls.

“This is not a new concept,” she said. “We all have this in our own homes and many restaurants have this too.”

Zuckerman said he would soon be able to provide more information about the potential cost and logistics of adding more all-gender bathrooms to schools.

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