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Who’s in the Locker Rooms?


While admin and teachers are concerned about vandalism in bathrooms, many students harbor  gender concerns about bathrooms; such as the lack of separate locker rooms and restrooms for non-binary individuals. Some students are unbothered and neutral about sharing locker rooms, shown in interview and surveys; other students are asking  why genderqueer individuals are using their facility. Some students have turned away and refused to voice their opinion on the situation because they are intimidated about the controversy that the subject brings behind it. 

 “It makes me really uncomfortable, and I don’t understand why there can’t be other locker rooms for this,” an anonymous person stated in a survey.

Meanwhile non-binary students have been  reluctant to identify and request access or report problems. 

The California Ed Code gives everyone a right to a restroom or locker room where they belong. Yet sharing locker rooms/restrooms has become a focal point: both traditional and non-binary individuals are uncomfortable when forced to share. Students appear to want a third facilities option — male, female, other.  

Athletic Director Tori Loney who oversees the female locker room, must abide by the California Education Code as PRHS tries to support all students and provide spaces where everyone feels comfortable in the bathrooms, locker rooms, and throughout campus.

PRHS Athletic Director, Tory Loney
PRHS Athletic Director, Tory Loney

The Ed Code and PRHS policy have supported non-binary individuals for over a decade, according to Loney, but the return of in-person learning has increased the number of in-person students using locker rooms and restrooms compared to the 2020-2021 school year.

Individuals who have identified as non binary or identify with the population for a different locker room or bathroom are allowed to do so,” Loney said.  “For over 10 years, students have been able to identify themselves, allowing them to access locker rooms, bathrooms, shower facilities, etc.”

According to Ed Code 210.7, Gender refers to a person’s sex and that includes gender identity. Gender identification is determined by what a person declares themselves to be. 

“Some schools will ask non-binary students to identify themselves to the office so they can remind teachers and administration, but in the California Ed code it is not needed for a student to do so. As a result, PRHS allows students to choose whichever bathroom they decide they fit into,” Loney said.

The California Education Ed Code can therefore leave many students exposed to confrontation or harassment from students unaware of these guidelines.  

Loney maintained that PRHS has not faced the issue of the creation of an uncomfortable environment in these vulnerable places so far.

“In the 17 years of being a PE teacher I have never had any problems with non-binary individuals in the locker rooms,” Loney said. “But problems [facing LGBTQ+ students] can range as I have heard stories from other PE teachers that some school atmospheres are very welcoming while others have had fights, people being injured, and numerous students being uncomfortable in the locker rooms.”

PRHS Head Principle, Anthony Overton
PRHS Principal Anthony Overton




PRHS Principal Anthony Overton stated, “We are looking to expand gender neutral facilities as there has been a big demand for them this school year.”


At the moment there are a total of two fully accessible gender neutral restrooms at PRHS located in the nurse’s office and in the 400 building. There are also two others located in the 500 and 600 building but require an administrator for assistance.




Former Equality Club Adviser and acting/technical theater teacher, Marcy Goodnow has supported LGBTQ+ students at PRHS for 8 years and pushed administration to add the 4 gender neutral bathrooms that the school has today.


“I think the traditional locker room may not be the best fit for many students. I do know that it has traditionally been a difficult space to monitor. Safety is the priority for our students and so we need to think about a system to support their needs. I don’t know what that looks like, but I do know that our administration will do whatever it takes to do what is right for our students,” said Goodnow. “It is extremely personal, but safety is the most important feeling. It is impossible to ask a student to learn when they don’t feel safe or comfortable, so it is our job to give them that space.”

PRHS Drama teacher and former Equality Club director, Marcy Goodnow
PRHS Drama teacher and former Equality Club director, Marcy Goodnow



The discomfort and inexperience among students around sharing these areas with genderqueer individuals is up to the administration to provide more gender neutral facilities around PRHS. Administration also encourages students to ask questions if they are having trouble with the situation.






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