Wellington High School and Onslow College unisex loos earn praise

By Regan Schoultz, Vaimoana Tapaleao

Wellington High School and Onslow College are offering the new bathrooms to help students feel more comfortable. Photo / Getty Images
Wellington High School and Onslow College are offering the new bathrooms to help students feel more comfortable. Photo / Getty Images

Two New Zealand schools are being praised for their message of inclusion after installing gender-neutral bathrooms for students.

Wellington High School and Onslow College are offering the new bathrooms to help students who do not feel comfortable using bathrooms labelled "male" and "female".

On Wellington High's Facebook page more than 50 people, including former students, posted their support for the move.

"Excellent leadership! Congratulations WHS students, staff and board," Stephanie Pride wrote.

Sarah Erskine praised the school for creating a better environment for students in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

"So many teenagers are hurting themselves and suffering because they feel marginalised and freakish.

"By having neutral toilets you are not only creating a safer environment for LGBT and students, but also teaching acceptance and tolerance to other students. I hope other schools follow suit," she said.

Wellington High principal Nigel Hanton told the Herald the school had a long history of being inclusive and celebrating diversity.

"The school is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where every student can feel secure," he said.

Mr Hanton said a group of students instigated the idea. The local community and board of trustees then supported the idea.

Onslow principal Peter Leggat said its new bathrooms were still at the planning stage, but construction was due to start in the next few weeks.

- NZ Herald

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