Long Beach High School Will Break Ground on All-Gender Locker Room

A high school in Long Beach, CA, has approved a plan to build an all-gender locker room on campus. The locker room construction will begin this summer at Wilson High School. The Measure E bond is responsible for funding the majority of this project. The Measure E Bond was passed with a 74% yes vote. Measure E claims it will fund repairs at aging schools.

The city of Long Beach has been a progressive center for the LGBT community. Students are allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms based solely on their gender identity. They are also allowed to participate in sports and competitions based on their gender identity, regardless of their assigned sex at birth. 

Assistant Principal Guillermo Jimenez sent an email to families this week inviting them to a virtual community meeting to discuss the school’s locker room safety and privacy features. Parents have already voiced concerns over the new all-gender locker room.

The email read in part:

“The Long Beach Unified School District’s inclusive facilities are spaces that serve students with disabilities, students of all gender identities and expressions, and students who desire privacy for any number of reasons. Wilson’s new aquatic center will feature an inclusive, all-gender locker room. LBUSD’s Facilities staff will share information on the new aquatic center, including details on the locker room’s safety and privacy features.”

The liaison to Measure E met with a student focus group in November 2020 to discuss the new locker room. The instructor stated the reason for needing this new locker room was, “To create a safe space for people who might be otherwise uncomfortable. We’re looking at what are some of the problems that we have with current single-gender spaces.”

The article also noted that students have privacy concerns with sharing communal showers and changing areas. Students are uncomfortable showering in the open, regardless of their gender identity. 

One parent expressed concerns about the initiative, citing recent bathroom violence in Loudoun County, Virginia. 

Several students stated they waited until they went home to use the restroom due to bathroom safety. The principal noted they are focusing on making the restrooms safe by placing security guards outside the restrooms. 

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