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No mixed-gender bathrooms in Quebec schools, education minister says

Quebec’s education minister says it’s out of the question to have mixed-gender bathrooms in the province’s schools.

Bernard Drainville was reacting to news that a high school in Rouyn-Noranda, in the province’s northwest, was starting work to provide gender-neutral bathrooms to its students for the 2024-25 school year.

School officials have said the proposed bathrooms would have stalls that are closed from floor to ceiling, but the sink area would be shared.

Drainville said he objects to mixed-gender bathrooms on the basis of privacy, adding that boys could tease girls who are going through puberty.

He called on the school to change its plan but said he is open to an individual gender-neutral bathroom.

His statement came after Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon asked for a parliamentary commission to be held on issues stirring up debate, including gender-neutral washrooms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2023.

The Canadian Press