August 28, 2009
>Vermont Teen Advocating for All-Gender Bathrooms in Schools
>Kyle Giard-Chase, a transgender student at South Burlington High School in Vermont, has begun a campaign to place all-gender bathrooms in all of Vermont’s public schools. He and his supporters hope to involve school administrators, policymakers and students from Gay-Straight Alliances in the effort to install at least one of these bathrooms–typically single-room facilities–in each of the state’s middle and high schools.
While Kyle’s high school does have all-gender facilities, he remembers feeling uncomfortable and unsafe with using his middle school’s gender-specific bathrooms and deliberately “holding it” to avoid harassment and abuse from his peers. “This procedure of ‘holding it’ caused me to pay less attention in class, neglect my studies, and fear going to school in the morning,” he said.
Recognizing that many other teenagers may face the same struggles with school bathrooms that do not accommodate their gender identity, Kyle approached the Vermont Human Rights Commission yesterday to launch his campaign–to make sure that all of the students in the state feel safe and secure when using public school restrooms.