Bathrooms in Primary Schools.

January 27, 2012 § 4 Comments

I think the line of discussion today about bathrooms for young children was interesting. Around the age of preschool most children will be using the restroom by themselves.  Before that point it is required for them to have their parent present.  Some buildings do offer separate family bathrooms but those are really quite rare.  So up until entering school children are using the bathroom intended for the sex of which ever parent is with them in public.  This is a completely socially acceptable practice, the same could be said for changing a baby’s diaper in a public restroom.  Once an arbitrary age is reached it suddenly becomes inappropriate for them to be in the incorrect bathroom.

Preschool and kindergarten education is as much social as it is academic.  It begins reinforcing many of the social norms they will be expected to adhere to as they grow. Every parent teaches their child to not hit, to share, be polite and so on. These are general skills that will be useful later in life and early school is the place to practice them.  To learn how your peers who are not related to you and may not all like you, respond to your actions.  Separate restrooms is one of those social norms.

So, my honest question is, “Do we need separate public restrooms at all?”.  Is it only an issue because we make it an issue?  If the answer is yes, then it is completely appropriate to begin teaching children to conform to this.  If no, then there is no reason to bother teaching children and the whole norm can be done away with.

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§ 4 Responses to Bathrooms in Primary Schools.

  • gdobler says:

    I have also been thinking a lot about this topic since discussing it in class. In my opinion, separate bathrooms have been the norm for so long that there is no reason to change them. We also talked about the issue of the genderless baby choosing a bathroom to use. That is definitely a problem, but when you look at society, not many people are conforming to the whole let your child choose their gender thing. I think that our society as it is now needs separate bathrooms because changing that would cause trouble with the society since people are very stuck in their ways at this point. I think eventually society could change, but societal changes take a long time and this particular one would take even longer.

  • bibliogay says:

    Something that many institutions are attempting to adapt is the concept of utilizing gender-neutral bathrooms. At the University-level, there are many that adapt this idea for many of their students. It’s an idea that could potentially be put into action for lower-level institutions.

  • sbarell says:

    I think that the whole reason there are separate gender bathrooms in elementary schools is because at a young age not all kids act appropriate. They need to have the separate places because they do not have supervision in restrooms. I think that kids in elementary school are at a young age and are not really sure of what gender is. I think it is okay at a young age to tell them girls over here and boys over on the other side. Once they get a little older and start to realize what gender they want to be then I think it becomes more suitable to have another restroom for the gender-neutral.

  • katielee87 says:

    I could definitely see gender-neutral bathrooms becoming more popular. I know I’ve been in several restaurants that had gender neutral bathrooms. I don’t think gender neutral bathrooms in elementary schools are necessarily a bad idea. I think a big reason the idea makes some people uncomfortable is because society is just so used to gender separate bathrooms.

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