Students at Ithaca High School and Lehman Alternative Community School will soon have the option to use gender-inclusive restrooms, according to Ithaca City School District officials.
The change will go into effect after planned renovations to restrooms across the district. Work on Ithaca High School restrooms will begin in mid February.
The renovations are a small part of the district’s ongoing capital improvement plan, which includes $120 million in other projects over 12 years.
Some district students have pushed for gender-neutral restrooms. Such facilities are often single occupancy restrooms with signage indicating anyone can use them, though it’s not clear what the new facilities at ICSD will look like yet.
A 2020 law signed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo required all single-occupancy restrooms — including those in schools — to be made available to people of any gender.
Both schools will also continue to maintain other gender-segregated restrooms and locker facilities.
Current interpretation of Title IX, the federal educational discrimination law, protects students from discrimination based on their gender identity. Preventing a student from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender could be considered discrimination.