Lincoln High School in San Jose Installs Gender-Neutral Restrooms - NBC Bay Area
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Lincoln High School in San Jose Installs Gender-Neutral Restrooms

District and campus officials said the change is part of a goal of taking a stand for what it calls "inclusive culture."

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    A San Jose high school is making a bold statement in the midst of a nationwide debate over gender rights. Robert Handa reports. (Published Wednesday, April 27, 2016)

    A San Jose high school is making a bold statement in the midst of a nationwide debate over gender rights.

    Lincoln High School is changing some of its restrooms to be usable by any gender. District and campus officials said the change is part of a goal of taking a stand for what it calls "inclusive culture."

    Two all-gender restrooms were installed on campus this week. The idea of setting up the gender-neutral restrooms, in addition to the usual gender-specific facilities, came from a school-wide student recommendation.

    "Because so many students have been complaining about not feeling safe when they go to the restroom," student Israel Diaz said. "They're not sure which restroom to use and now we're able to go to whichever restroom we feel most comfortable."

    The head of youth support group Silicon Valley Faces agrees.

    "I think it's a big step for an administration to say 'Yes, we're going to move in that direction,'" said Pat Mitchell, Silicon Valley Faces executive director.

    South Bay Congressman Mike Honda contacted Washington, D.C. and anticipates the campus' decision will resonate nationally.

    "You know the governor of North Carolina should have waited until he talked with these students," Honda said.

    Diaz also thinks the campus change will have a national impact.

    "It could have an impact on other schools so that they see that it's been positive feedback from the rest of the Lincoln students," he said. "So they'll see that we're very happy."

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