The San Bernardino County, Calif., Grand Jury is urging schools to convert "as many restrooms as possible" to unisex facilities to respond to the needs of students who are transgendered.
The grand jury, in its annual report released on July 1, found that "schools and district offices visited do not have unisex restrooms or locker rooms allowing any student, including transgender students, to use without being labeled."
In addition to recommending the creation of more unisex washrooms, the grand jury also said the county school superintendent's office should establish a task force to determine what construction would be needed and what the cost would be of redesigning bathrooms and locker rooms to accommodate transgender students.
It also called for schools to provide more training of staff members.
"Survey teachers and administrators in elementary, middle and high schools on training needs which they believe would increase their knowledge and ability to properly handle transgender situations," the grand jury recommended.
In light of the national debate over transgender students and access to public school bathrooms and locker rooms, the grand jury decided to examine the issue to determine how the county's school districts were complying the laws and regulations regarding transgender students. The report noted that the California legislature has passed Assembly Bill 1266, which gives transgender students the right to use washrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity and not on their sex at birth. That law is being challenged in courts.
The panel, which interviewed officials from the Colton Joint Unified District and the Redlands Unified District, as well as the county superintendent's office, found that school representatives were "knowledgeable regarding student safety and transgender issues within their districts and school sites and are in compliance with laws and regulations regarding the safety of transgender students."