Coming soon from the GSA: video regarding the misuse of the gender neutral bathroom


Ellie Barnett-Cashman

Above you see smoke from students vaping and a clogged sink in the gender neutral bathroom, these problems often occur and result in the bathroom “having to close which means that several students have nowhere to go to the bathroom,” said freshman Max McKinnel.

Ellie Barnett-Cashman, Staff Writer

South’s very own Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is working on a video to educate and inform students of the importance of the gender neutral bathroom as a safe area to non-binary students. “The gender-neutral bathroom is not always a safe space for students who need that room and I think there are individuals in our school community who are unaware as to why that space is so important,” said Dr. Sarah Minette, South music teacher and advisor of the GSA.

Minette describes the culture of the GSA as “a welcoming and affirming group, you don’t have to identify as gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, you can be an ally, or you can be somebody who doesn’t necessarily know what all of this is about but is curious.”

The GSA hopes to release this video as soon as possible, focusing on the problems within the gender neutral bathroom. Minette said “it’s addressing the needs of the gender-neutral bathroom and for our school community to be respectful and protect that space.”

The gender neutral bathroom has faced many problems in the past. “The all-gender bathroom keeps getting wrecked in various ways, people smoke pot in there, one time it got flooded,” said freshman Max McKinnel.

Freshman Liam Campbell also believes the misuse of the bathroom is unjustified. “It’s just stupid that people are so selfish and just ignore the fact they’re actually hurting people. People just need to think about that a little bit.”

Many students feel very strongly about the problem of the misuse of the gender neutral bathrooms. McKinnel said that because of the misuse, the gender neutral bathroom “ends up having to close which means that several students have nowhere to go to the bathroom.” They later add that “there’s only one all-gender bathroom in school and it’s great that we have an all-gender bathroom but it’s kind of secluded.”

Campbell also said that “people are being affected by [the misuse] negatively and it’s just not fair for people not to be able to go to the bathroom.”

“Ideally it’ll be mandatory to be shown in all of the classes trying to get people to be aware that this is a necessary facility and that if you’re doing things like smoking pot in there, [there are] actual repercussions for people,” said McKinnel concerning the video. Freshman, Sara Kline added that the video will hopefully “raise awareness of the issues of the gender-neutral bathroom.”

The video is yet to be finished, but in the GSA’s plan many students will be involved. “There are going to be some student testimonials,” said McKinnel. Campbell also said “[there will be] lots of interviews and probably some information about GSA.”

“I think that students just need an awareness, and staff too might not be aware that that is the only safe bathroom that students feel comfortable using,” said Minette.

In the future the GSA has hopes to open another gender neutral bathroom within South. “We’re also trying to develop a platform to have another bathroom be available for students, because that one’s kind of far away. Hopefully [the video will] bring about a conversation which students can protect each other but also help inform each other,” said Minette.

The GSA also hopes to “get people to think about their actions and their words and just how they are in general around all issues, but especially being inclusive and accepting at South,” said Campbell.