FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – School District 60 Trustees took questions from members of the public on the format of the washrooms at the new Margaret “Ma” Murray School at Monday’s school board meeting.
The washroom format of the new school will be gender-neutral, essentially allowing anyone to use the restrooms. The washrooms’ toilets will be located inside individual separate rooms with locking doors. The toilet rooms themselves will be positioned around a common sink area that will be more open to the school’s corridors.
Among the issues raised by the handful of parents in attendance was that of student safety. One parent asked how a teacher would know to provide aid if a student using the toilets needed assistance. “That’s a good question and a good concern,” said Superintendent Dave Sloan. “I’m all for providing a safe and comfortable space, I’ve taken that note. As for what can be done? I don’t have that answer specifically tonight but I can commit to taking that away from this meeting.”
Installing cameras in the washroom hallways or ‘panic buttons’ in each stall were two ideas that were mentioned to provide students with a measure of safety in the new washrooms. Those ideas were also mentioned as a possible way to curb inappropriate behaviour by students in the washrooms after another parent raised the issue.
Parents also asked the school board about if and when a playground at the school would be completed.
“They can’t begin to build a playground until the spring at the earliest,” said Sloan. “We will continue to update the public as the building gets closer to completion. When the building is finished it should have a playground just like all other schools, that’s our anticipation.”