Ava Seccuro staff writer
To comply with the Assembly Bill (AB) 1732, Principal Mark Mead and the School Site Council are working to designate every single-stall bathroom on campus as “all-gender.”
AB 1732 stipulates that all single-user bathrooms in any place of public accommodation must be labeled as all-gender by signage that complies with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. The law began implementation on March 1, 2017.
Currently, there are two all-gender bathrooms on campus. One is on the second floor of the science building and another is on the first floor near the entrance of the main building; however, the rest of the single stall bathrooms on campus are not labeled yet due to budget uncertainties.
“We are certainly looking forward to making the changes in compliance with the law, but…there are budgetary aspects. It’s not a big budget but still, we have to find the money,” Mead said. “We have to requisition it, we have to have the signs made, measured, and [we have to have] the locks changed…so it’s coming soon.”
Another reason for delays in compliance to AB 1732 is that the maintenance and operations division is understaffed.
“Also, at the moment we are a little short staffed. That’s not much of an excuse, but it is part of it,” Mead said. “We only have one electrician for the whole district, maybe two, [and] we only have one painter. For five schools that’s a lot of work…There are very significant, basic safety stuff that they’re addressing as well.”
School Site Council member and history teacher Erica Harper acknowledges the fact that the delay of the bathroom signage is due in part to the other jobs that maintenance must complete during construction. Ultimately, no matter when the job is finished, she believes that the implementation of AB 1732 will benefit the community.
“It’s going to be really helpful for students to feel more welcome on campus, that they don’t have to worry about where they go to the bathroom,” Harper said. “Life is hard enough for a teenager, [they] shouldn’t have to stress about where we’re going to go to the bathroom.”
Mead additionally feels no concern for the new law nor its impact on students and staff.
“I don’t have a great deal of concern. Here’s why: Everybody in the staff that I’m open to has felt open and prepared to be supportive. I think we have an answer to, ‘Where am I going to go to the bathroom?’ for staff. It’s a small inconvenience for staff, but not one that they’re going to object to…For students, I don’t think it’s a change at all.”