Changing pods for gender non-conforming students installed in varsity locker room


Benjamin Potoski

A changing pod in the boys varsity locker room.

A recent shift for DP has been the installation of changing pods in the boys’ varsity locker room. The installation followed discussions between senior PE teachers and admin regarding a solution to a changing space for gender non-conforming students in accordance with the School Success and Opportunity Act. The act requires that students have the right to “use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

DP implemented the pods after it was decided the room previously used for changing would become a girls varsity locker room. Similar to the concept behind gender-neutral bathrooms, the changing pods are meant to provide a safe changing space for gender non-conforming students that supports their identity.

The brainstorming and decision making process was initially conducted between admin and teachers.

“It’s the type of thing where administrative decisions need to be made,” said Courtney Nigro, PE department chair.

The school made sure students were kept in the loop. They were updated and asked to provide feedback on solutions that the admin came up with.

“We all actually went back to the students and conversed with them and said ‘Is this going to be acceptable? Is this a possibility, a solution for you guys moving forward?’” Ian Perry, assistant principal and the administrator in charge of PE, said.

Students using the changing pods have been relatively happy with the change so far, but they are hoping to work on new ideas for the future.

“I think that it’s a good temporary solution,” said sophomore Xander Hines, a student who uses the pods. “The pods are a bit claustrophobic. They’re quite small, but luckily they’re tall enough.”

The school remains committed to working with students to implement change.

“You can ask any administrator, ‘What’s our number one priority?’”
Perry said.

He said they’ll invariably respond, “It’s a safe and supportive environment for all students.”

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