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Smagorinsky: Should schools designate unisex restrooms?

In the latest edition of the AJC's Get Schooled blog, Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education, discussed why he thinks schools should embrace the White House's inclusion efforts towards transgender students.

Recently, Jim Arnold, a public school administrator and a regular contributor to the AJC, wrote a blog post comparing school restroom accommodations for transgender students to "killing ants with B-2 bombers. You can do it, but it's probably not the best use of the resources at your disposal."

In response, Smagorinsky pointed out that schools have made accommodations for other small groups of students because it was the right thing to do, citing students who use wheelchairs.

"Making schools wheelchair accessible, however, is required by law. Few would deny those requiring wheelchairs access to schools or toilets adjusted for their needs. But if the issue is solely the low percentage of people who require the accommodation, then we already have a clear example of a much more expensive accommodation in the issue of wheelchair accessibility for about the same number of people," said Smagorinsky.

An easy solution for schools, wrote Smagorinsky, is to designate one bathroom as unisex.

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