Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

District makes available gender-neutral spaces

Photo by Ayaan Hamid
A gender neutral restroom is located near the art rooms in the C hallway. The spaces were made available by the district in an effort to be more inclusive to those with gender-expression needs.

On February 12, LZHS made additional gender neutral spaces open for students with gender identity and expression needs.

LZHS, as well as other schools in District 95, have opened up new gender neutral bathrooms and changing rooms in “an effort to be more responsive to student needs,” according to John Walsh, principal, in a weekly newsletter.

“By law, school districts are required to provide accommodations to students in certain groups, and one of those groups is students with different gender identity or expression needs,” Lauren McArdle, assistant superintendent of student services, said.

With the change, the District has made available two spaces at the middle schools and one at LZHS. The spaces will serve as both bathrooms and changing rooms for students with gender expression needs.

“It wasn’t a matter of doing any renovation, per se,” McArdle said. “It was just a matter of identifying spaces that could be used by students, and then identifying the students that needed access to those spaces.”

Among the legal and board policies that led to the decision is 7:20 of the District 95 Board Policy, which forbids any conduct that impedes a student’s education and the harassment of students based on race, sex and gender-based identity and expression.

“Let’s say that I am a particular student and I don’t identify as male or female, I identify as non-binary. That would be a gender expression need,” McArdle said. “Let’s say I am a student that is biologically female at birth by sex, but I identify as male. That’s another example of a gender expression or identity need.”

The change was implemented by the Student Service Council, an offshoot of a district development plan made up of student, parent, and administrative representatives who are charged with “identifying areas for inclusion and belonging,” McArdle said in a district board meeting on February 22.

“A conversation arose out of that workgroup that we might not be meeting all of the needs of our students who identify as non-binary as best as we can,” McArdle said. “And so, one of those ways is bathroom and changing room access.”

 Gender neutral spaces at LZHS are located in the C hallway near the art rooms and the locker room across the hall from the fieldhouse.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Ayaan Hamid
Ayaan Hamid, News Editor
This is Ayaan’s second year on staff but first time as News Editor. Ayaan is involved with Interact and Badminton Club. He also enjoys playing video games with his two younger brothers Hamza and Ahmed, reading his soon-to-be vast collection of history books, and eating anything with tomatoes in it. 

Comments (0)

Comments will not be published until approved by the Bear Facts Student Media Staff
All Bear Facts Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *