Iceland primary school introduces gender-neutral toilets

An Icelandic elementary school has removed gender signs from its bathrooms in an effort to become “gender neutral”. The principal thinks that other schools should do the same: “One simply has to be conscious about the fact that we are not all the same and everybody has the right to be as they are,” says Sigurbjörg Róbertsdóttir, principal of Reykjanesbær’s elementary school, Akurskóli, where school officials have had gender signs removed from the school’s restrooms.

And removing gender signs from restroom isn’t the only change the school has brought about this year. It has also changed one of the instructions regarding swimming lessons, in a memo that is sent home to parents. Instead of the typical phrasing of “girls should wear swimsuits and boys should wear swimtrunks”, it simply states that children should wear appropriate swim-attire, without categorizing which gender should wear what.

The procedure itself wasn’t explained specifically to the children. However the school asked Samtökin ’78, the national queer organization, to come and do a lecture on prejudice.  Read more via Gay Iceland