Schools in the city could soon face the need to install gender neutral toilets after new guidance came into force.
Within these guidelines, they outline the need for every school to provide their students with an equal amount of access to toilet facilities and that cubicle toilets with enclosed ceiling height fitting should be usable by all that come equipped with disposal facilities for personal products such as menstrual and other specifically needed items.
This advice is given across East Sussex and is a directive of the inclusion and acceptance sought through Brighton and Hove’s Trans Inclusion Toolkit.
Much of these new actions have been devised through a consultation process where key figures discussed these issues with trans children and other young people, finding that they would take this choice due to fears of bullying and harassment that exist when entering a facility that they don’t identify with.
Single sex provisions cause serious issues for those who either no not identify with the facility they are expected to use or provide difficulty for the non-binary community to feel comfortable using a bathroom when neither are an appropriate representation of their self-understanding.
These discoveries are also extending past the use of toilets, with further advice on other gender specific activities such as mixed sex sports, the use of gendered language in the learning environment and the rights for students to choose between traditionally male or female uniforms to better express their personal identification.
Councillor Hannah Clare is the chairwoman of the Children, Young People and Skills Committee, and stated that this was an important project to ensure that all students feel safe and supported in school, giving them the opportunity to feel comfortable.
Supporting trans children is seen as one part of a vital effort to combat discrimination and by taking these actions it helps to further their education and allows the ability to be inclusive whilst celebrating all children and their families.
Photo Credit: Yasin Yusuf