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St. James-Assiniboia School Division opens first gender-neutral washroom

St. James-Assiniboia School Division opens first gender-neutral washroom
WATCH: It is the first for the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, but it is not the first gender-neutral facilities in Winnipeg schools.

Ecole Ness Middle School now has a brand-new, 15-stall gender-neutral washroom with an open area for students to wash their hands, side by side.

This is the first for the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, but they’re the last division in the city to have a gender-neutral option.

In the fall, Global News got numbers from other school divisions.

READ MORE: Multi-stall gender-neutral washrooms coming to St. James school division

The Seven Oaks School Division said they had 25 gender-neutral washrooms, the Pembina Trails School Division said they had 34, River East Transcona School Division said they had 42, the Louis Riel School Division has about 67 while the Winnipeg School Division had 78.

Despite the prevalence, some parents had mixed reactions.

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“I don’t think it’s a good idea to put boys and girls in the same bathroom,” Maryan Ahamed said.

WATCH: (2018) Multi-stall gender-neutral washrooms coming to St. James school division

Multi-stall gender-neutral washrooms coming to St. James school division
Multi-stall gender-neutral washrooms coming to St. James school division

Other parents, meanwhile, weren’t too concerned.

“I think it’s great. It’s about time. We talked to our daughter about it. She has no concerns. She asked a few questions and everyone seems on board, it’s good,” David Schneider said.

“You go do your business — that part’s private — then the rest. Who cares where you wash your hands?”

READ MORE: North Vancouver school locks washrooms after surge in vaping on school grounds (December 2018)

Students like Grade 6 student Bronsyn Favelle like the new facility.

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“All you can see from the doors is just the sinks and then there’s stalls. They’re all cut off from the top and bottom so no one can see them inside,” he said. “I like them.”

The St. James-Assiniboia School Division is also installing a second gender-neutral washroom — it’s currently under construction at Brooklands School which is home to K-5 elementary students.