First off, the only thing North Dakota follows from Minnesota are their sports teams.

North Dakota and Minnesota are like the uncles that argue at Thanksgiving.  They grew up together but have wildly different opinions.  As a lifelong North Dakotan, I think I can say the majority of the state would be very firm in their rejection of this current model of the all-inclusive bathroom.

Illustration Courtesy of Wold Architects and Engineers
Illustration Courtesy of Wold Architects and Engineers

But even the folks from North Dakota may have to legally comply in the not-so-distant future. But this particular story comes from the White Bear Lake district in Minnesota and their brand new North Star Elementary School. The school just opened last month and much to the surprise of parents in the district...

There are no girls' bathrooms.

To be fair, there are also no boys' bathrooms. Replacing them both is the gender-neutral privacy bathroom.  As you can see in the illustration above, each "stall" is in fact a fully enclosed room.  Each room has a single toilet and a door that latches to show it is occupied.

Wold's shared this clarification with Alpha News

Wold’s designs are thoughtfully developed to achieve our clients’ goals in compliance with federal, state, and local requirements.

And develop it well they did...

The washing area is also shared by all.

Illustration Courtesy of Wold Architects and Engineers
Illustration Courtesy of Wold Architects and Engineers

Wold Architects and Engineers designed the concept which is just one of the gender-neutral restroom designs they've created.   Alpha News reports it was done to comply with White Bear Lake's districtwide "Administrative Guidelines for Transgender and Gender-Expansive Student Rights and Protections" policy. That policy states the following...


A. Restroom Accessibility. Pursuant to state law, students shall have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity asserted at school:

1. Any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy, regardless of the student’s gender identity or expression, and regardless of the underlying reason for the student’s need or desire for increased privacy, should be provided access to a single-user restroom.

2. No student shall be required to use a single-user restroom because they are transgender or gender-expansive.

3. The District shall work with each gender-expansive student to determine which restrooms are most comfortable for the student.

4. In no case shall a transgender or gender-expansive student be required to use a restroom that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.

Their design checks all the boxes, so why are parents so upset?  Well, partly because this design was not mentioned when architects discussed the details with the community two years ago.  I'm inclined to believe that report is true mainly because I am not inclined to watch the hourlong YouTube accounting of the meeting.  If you want to- well by all means enjoy. You can't find it below.

But what REALLY has parents and their kids OUTRAGED about this design?

It's boys piddling all over the potty.  Ladies, I'm sure you'll testify that adult men are bad enough placing our pee in the proper place. But these are elementary kids!  Do you think a first-grader is going to lift that seat every time?  You better believe that those boys will be tinkling all over the floor, the seat, and sure maybe on the wall a little bit. Pretty disgusting stuff, especially when you have to sit down to do your business.

That's inclusion for ya!

White Bear Lake Area School District YouTube Channel

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