A California lawmaker introduced proposed legislation that would require public schools in the state to provide at least one all-gender restroom in each K-12 school building.
State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, introduced SB 760 that would require all public schools, including public charter schools, to have at least one gender-neutral restroom at each of its school sites. The law would be in addition to California’s current provisions allowing students to use restrooms that align with their gender.
“By requiring all California K-12 schools to provide gender-inclusive restroom facilities on campus, we’ll ensure the well-being of our LGBTQ+ and non-binary students and ensure safer school communities for everyone,” Newman said in a release issued by his office.
Newman declined an interview with Chalkboard Review.
Based on the text of SB 760, the law would require at least one bathroom in each building to be marked as an “all-gender” restroom on or before Jan. 1, 2025. The bill also delineates that the bathroom must be open to all students during school hours. Students would not need to request access from teachers, faculty or staff to use them.
The all-gender bathroom would be required to be stocked with menstrual sanitation products for students in grades 6-12. California law currently requires school districts to stock menstrual products in women’s rooms, any existing all-gender bathrooms and at least one men’s room per building for middle and high school students.
According to an analysis published in June last year by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, an estimated 1.93% of California’s population between the ages of 13 and 17 identified as transgender – 49,100 people.
There are 2,612,281 students in California’s middle, junior high and high schools, according to the California Department of Education.
“Every child and adolescent should have access to a bathroom that comports with their gender identity, and for some young people that means bathrooms that don’t force them into a binary choice,” SB 760’s coauthor Sen. Scott Wiener said in a release.
While it’s not readily clear how much the introduced legislation would cost, the bill indicates that the state would reimburse local agencies and school districts for costs incurred in compliance with the requirements.
The bill does not specify whether the bathrooms would have to be single-user or have multiple stalls. The bill states that a “local educational agency” could “use an existing bathroom to satisfy these requirements.”