Sturgeon Composite High School's (SCHS) gender-specific and gender-neutral washroom issue isn't over.
FortSaskOnline previously covered a story on SCHS students starting the 2017-18 school year to redesigned washrooms that were all gender-neutral.
A petition was signed requesting that washrooms be re-designated to include more gender-specific washrooms. The petition also suggested that single-stalled washrooms be gender-neutral.
The petition was shut down after a short meeting in November of 2017.
During construction and after some compromise, gender-specific washrooms were put in. SCHS currently has 11 female, 11 male and 19 gender-neutral washroom stalls.
The Sturgeon Public School Division Board of Trustees tried to put the situation to rest with a recent letter, but some aren't happy with the response.
"Based on all information gathered, the Board has upheld the decision to designate the Front Foyer and North Wing washrooms as “gendered-specific” (male/female) and the East Wing washrooms as “gender-neutral.” Furthermore, the Board supports the opportunity for “passive supervision” that is afforded by open entryways and notes that this approach is becoming increasingly more common in Alberta schools."
"For the co-ed washrooms that are still available to the kids, they didn't address any of the security or privacy issues at all and that was one of our main concerns," said parent Amber Harris.
Prior to the petition, student's had raised concerns of needing extra privacy when changing hygiene products and the space above or below the stall doors had caused multiple cellphone-related incidences.
The school board stated that they have not had any reports of these issues related to the gender-neutral washrooms.
"In closing, the Board would like to stress that if you have any other questions and/or concerns relative to the operation of Sturgeon Composite High School and/or your child’s educational experience at the school, we would encourage you to arrange a meeting with the school principal, Mr. Baldassarre. It is our understanding that you have not yet taken advantage of the opportunity to speak directly with Mr. Baldassarre and we draw your attention to Policy E/I/7 and Administrative Practice HRM 46, contained on the Sturgeon Public School Division website. This highlights the process we follow in SPSD relative to such issues and/or concerns. After meeting with Mr. Baldassarre, should you wish to follow up on any unresolved issues, we would encourage you to call the Office of the Superintendent."
"That's playing pass the buck as far as we're concerned because for the parents who have been working with me over the past four or five months that's where we started. I have emails that log my conversations with him at the beginning of September and so do other parents," added Harris. "This isn't over, because discounting the parents and the students in a school, how they feel and their opinions on a decision isn't good governance."