Chicago Public Schools (CPS) launched a new regulation Wednesday requiring all schools to eliminate rest room designations based on biological science, i.e., male or female, and, instead allow all students to use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
CPS called the mandate, which will affect both students and staff, a “big step forward for gender equity.”
“All CPS students and staff will have fair and equitable access to bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity,” CPS Title IX Officer Camie Pratt said in a video message, adding the new requirement is a step toward “more inclusive and supportive schools.”
Pratt elaborated on the new requirement:
One change that will be implemented this school year relates to our school bathrooms. In compliance with new federal guidelines, all CPS students and staff will have fair and equitable access to bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity. We will be providing all schools with updated signage that makes our bathrooms more inclusive. It will identify the fixtures available in each rest room, and make it clear that all rest rooms are open for use by anyone who feels comfortable.
Examples of the signs to be used read:
- “This is a gender-neutral restroom with multiple stalls. It is open to users of any gender identity or expression.”
- “Men’s +: This restroom has both urinals and stalls. All who feel comfortable are welcome to use this restroom.”
- “Women’s +: This restroom has stalls. All who feel comfortable are welcome to use this restroom.”
“Staff will continue to have ‘staff only’ rest rooms available to them,” Pratt added.
She said the CPS Office of Student Protections and Title IX is “working on a long-term plan to create more permanent signage” for the bathrooms.
Some Twitter users commented on the new rule, including one who asked, “Who is making these ridiculous decisions?”