This focus was highlighted on social media Thursday evening.
Chicago school district’s Chief Title IX Officer said in a statement,
"We’re also taking steps to create more inclusive and supportive schools. One change that will be implemented this school year relates to our school bathrooms. In compliance with new federal guidelines, all CPS students and staff will have fair and equitable access to bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity."
This is an example of the signage that’ll be on every school’s restroom.
It’s unclear whether or not Chicago Public Schools' custodial staff will have the basic supplies necessary to clean these bathrooms. Earlier last month, a report by the Chicago Sun Times outlined the decrepit conditions faced by janitors.
One Chicago Public Schools custodian said she buys mops, brooms, garbage bags and disinfectant herself because her school isn’t stocked. And when she was out for two weeks, she came back to find her portion of the school hadn’t been cleaned.
Another revealed he gets paid about a month late.
One said her school gets 24 rolls of toilet paper each week to stock 25 bathrooms.
Despite years of complaints that the school district and the companies it hires to clean its buildings haven’t done an adequate job, union janitors say school working conditions are terrible — even compared to a 2018 scandal that prompted protests and promises for change. Short staffing, a lack of cleaning supplies, and general mismanagement by janitorial company Aramark are among the contributing problems, in their view.
“I am frustrated because here we are three years later, and it’s the same exact story,” said Maria Villegas, a custodian at Sayre Elementary in Galewood on the Northwest Side.
"Our district’s Office of Student Protections and Title IX is also working on a long term plan to create more permanent signage for our bathrooms," the video says. School staff will still have their own separate restrooms despite this overhaul.
On the Chicago Public Schools website, the video points out, there’s an online complaint form to report "sex/gender-based" discrimination, harassment, and all other forms of misconduct.
It’s apparently needed. A watchdog group said the Marine Leadership Academy High School in Chicago has called child protective services twenty-two times since 2019 about sexual misconduct allegations.