Schools in the central Okanagan may feel a little safer for LGBTQ+ youth says Okanagan Pride Society President Dustyn Baulkham after the SD23 board approved a motion to make signage on single-use bathrooms gender neutral.

“This sends a really strong message of encouragement to our youth within the community” says Baulkham. “Schools can be a tough place for LGBTQ+ youth and the simple act of choosing a washroom can be filled with anxiety for people who are not comfortable using facilities with the all-to-common male-female signage. This will hopefully help alleviate their concerns.”

The move to change single-use washrooms signage to reflect gender neutrally was initiated by the SD23’s Human Rights committee. The board approved the motion in a unanimous vote.

School districts in several other Canadian cities have made similar moves, including some districts in Toronto and Ottawa. Several Canadian universities have also added gender neutral signage to washroom facilities on campuses.

Baulkham says the decision by the Central Okanagan district reaches beyond the Valley’s LGBTQ+ community. “It’s also a great message for all youth and parents in the district. It says that our schools are open, safe, and inclusive spaces where people can express their true self and be who they really are.”

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For further comment, contact:
Dustyn Baulkham, President Okanagan Pride Society
250.826.7197 or Dustyn@okanaganpride.com