The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Chronically Online
Jo Murphy, Web Editor • May 17, 2024

Chronically Online
Jo Murphy, Web Editor • May 17, 2024

Sophomore serves as Executive Director of Trinidad Chamber of Commerce
Sofia Flores, News Editor • May 15, 2024

As the bustle and bloom of spring lurches forward, the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce will be putting on fun-packed events for people of all ages....

Save your Mate Money
Save your Mate Money
Malea Melendrez, News Correspondent • May 8, 2024

Tell me the last time you walked around school without seeing one of those yellow glowing 15.5 fluid ounce cylinders in someone’s hand, sitting...

ZYNS: the new vaping
ZYNS: the new vaping
Sofia Flores, Sofia Flores • May 8, 2024

ZYN use is on the rise at Arcata High, some even referring to it as the “New vaping.”  “Students use whatever is trendy at the...

Gender-neutral restrooms on campus

“I had no idea there was more than one gender neutral bathroom,”
Gender-neutral restrooms on campus

Whether we like it or not, we all have to use the school bathrooms, but for some, it’s a little more difficult than just walking into a stall. Eight years ago, in the 2015 edition of
the Pepperbox (Volume 88 Issue 1) the article “Transgender Rights at Arcata High” mentions the struggle many trans students face when using a bathroom where they feel comfortable.

Two years ago, the gender-neutral restroom on the Six Rivers campus was available to anyone who wanted to use it. Now that policy has changed, students wishing to use that gender-neutral bathroom must turn in their phones to the Six Rivers office in order to receive the key. If students wish to use the bathroom near room (605) in the FAB they have to turn in their phones to Melanie Zapper in order to receive a key.

“It has to do with some vandalism that’s taken place and some people that were mis-utilizing it,” Principal Ron Perry said on the new bathroom policy.

Some students find the new bathroom restrictions uncomfortable and not as accessible for students in further away classes.

“I’ve never personally tried to use them because the way that they work, from what I’ve heard, sounds humiliating and intimidating,” an anonymous source said.

Students spoke of the extra time it takes for students who need a gender neutral bathroom and the potential punishments they may receive from teachers who are strict about bathroom time.

Arcata High also has a genderneutral changing room that has a bathroom in the gym though most students only know about the Six Rivers bathroom.

“I had no idea there was more than one gender-neutral bathroom,” the anonymous source said.

Luckily for Arcata High students, there are plans to build a new gender-neutral bathroom over the summer.

“There’s gonna be some right in the middle of the quad that aren’t going to need to be locked or gated,” Perry said.

Although this seems like a positive change for students, some have issues with waiting an entire year to gain access to bathrooms.

“You don’t have to build a new bathroom for it to be gender-neutral. Just change the sign, because a toilet is a toilet at the end of the day,” an anonymous source said.

A recent article published in the Mercury Times about Governor Newsoms recently signed bill, noted that public schools across California will be required to have gender-neutral bathrooms by July 2026, making California the first state to mandate gender-neutral bathrooms.

“That’s amazing. I think that will change the school experience for trans people across California,” an anonymous student said.

In comparison to many other schools across the country that don’t allow trans students to use facilities that they feel comfortable in, Arcata High has taken a significant step towards inclusivity.

“We take it seriously, and I think that having the appropriate facilities to serve all of our students is important,” Perry said.

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About the Contributor
Lila Toledo
Lila Toledo, Executive Producer
Lila Toledo is a reporter for the Pepperbox. She was born and raised on Isla Mujeres in Mexico but moved to Humboldt in 2018. She went to Sunnybrae Middle School where she received the Rising Star award her 8th grade year. She enjoys cooking and baking in her free time. She is a lover of cats and a vegetarian. Her drink of choice during fall is a warm chai or a classic pumpkin spice latte. This is her first year at the Pepperbox although she is planning on continuing until she graduates.
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