California public schools could soon all be equipped with an all-gender restroom for students during the school day, if a state bill introduced this month passes.

The proposal marks a stark contrast to the 16 anti-transgender bathroom bills that are currently in the legislative process in states such as Idaho and Arkansas, where lawmakers are looking to restrict students to using only the bathroom consistent with their assigned sex at birth.

Supporters of California’s bathroom bill, SB 760, say the all-student restroom option will help provide a safe and private bathroom to any kid, regardless of their gender identity. And several California school districts are already ahead of the curve.

Starting in January 2025, the bill would require each California school district to provide at least one all-gender restroom for students to use at every school campus. The restroom would have to meet the same requirements that school bathrooms already must follow, such as regular maintenance, cleaning, stocked toilet paper and soap, and it must be unlocked and accessible during school hours.

They would also need signage indicating that the restroom is open to all students.

For many schools, it could be a matter of simply repurposing an existing single-stall restroom to fulfill the requirement.

That’s the approach Oakland Unified School District took in 2017 when administrators there decided to open all-student bathrooms at every school site, after the passage of the California Equal Restroom Act. Under that law, all California businesses must make single-occupancy restrooms open to all genders and identifiable with signage.

“We converted at all K–12 school sites an existing single-stall staff bathroom to a single-stall all-gender student bathroom. It was a process of a few months. It didn’t take that long once it started,” said Ilsa Bertolini, coordinator for health education at OUSD….

Full story at KQED.