Encinitas High School Considering Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

The principal of a high school in Encinitas is considering installing gender neutral bathrooms there after a student’s petition amassed more than 16,500 signatures.

“I think it’s a great act,” said Tim Hornig, principal of the San Dieguito Academy. “This is how change is made.”

Milo Spearman, a ninth grader at San Dieguito, launched the Care2 petition as a way to reach out to “kids who are transgender or just don’t quite know who they are,” his petition says.

“This way, people that don’t yet know what they want to be recognized as can go here without feeling awkward in either of the other bathrooms,” Spearman wrote in the petition.

As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had received more than 16,800 signatures.

Hornig said the petition came at a good time for the school, as construction is set to take place next month on new math and science classrooms. He said the school, with input from the district superintendent and facilities team, could consider building a gender-neutral bathroom.

Another option is to remodel existing bathrooms to make them gender neutral, Hornig said.

Overall, Hornig said he is pleased the school is starting this conversation, as a way to be socially inclusive.

“We’re a wonderfully supportive, conducive culture,” he said. “If this is something need to do, we’ll do it.”

In May, a school in Illinois responded to a similar Care2 petition and designated four gender-neutral bathrooms, according to a news release from the online company.

Spearman said he's hoping for something similar at San Dieguito.

“We already have a handful of trans students may want to have this option. It would really help us out as a community and family,” Spearman wrote in the petition.

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