Local school district creates unisex bathrooms for transgender students

CREATED Sep 11, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep 11, 2013

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OCONOMOWOC- Oconomowoc Superintendent Roger Rindo agrees his decision to provide a unisex bathroom at Summit Elementary is uncharted waters for the district, but also a decision that is fair and legal.

"By providing a unisex bathroom that not just transgender children, but all children can use, provides a facility that is open and available to all children," he says.

Last Friday the district received calls from concerned parents at Summit Elementary after a transgender 6-year-old used the girls' bathroom while another child was using it. Rindo believes creating a bathroom that all children can use will decrease transgender children feeling singled out by having a bathroom just for them.

"We are creating a practice that any child can use it, so we are not creating a stigma attached to using that restroom"

Dan Graves, a parent with a child who attends Summit, has no problem with the school providing a unisex bathroom as long as there is no cost.

"Today in society we have to understand tolerance and acceptance of those that are different and have different needs."

Meanwhile in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center has had unisex bathrooms for nearly a decade.

Maureen White with the center applauds the district but has one concern.

"Because Oconomowoc made this good decision, are there going to be other people to reinforce that this child won't get bullied?" White asked. "Sometimes there are policies made and not the reinforcement training to back that."

The school district is also planning to implement the unisex bathroom policy at all of its eight schools.