|UNIVERSAL WASHROOM INAUGURATED AT LESTER B. PEARSON HIGH SCHOOL|
MONTREAL, JUNE 20, 2017 – An official ribbon cutting ceremony took place at Lester B. Pearson High School (LBPHS) of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) in Montreal North on Monday, June 19 for the inauguration of its universal washroom.
Lester B. Pearson High School’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) student members worked in collaboration with Principal Joseph Vitantonio and Guidance Counsellor Natasha Krsteski to provide students with a washroom that is accessible to all.
This unique new washroom is gender neutral and universally accessible. It includes two stalls, one of which is wheelchair accessible. It was important for the students to make this washroom as comfortable as possible. “School is our second home. Everyone should feel safe,” shared LBPHS student and GSA member Sonia.
This thoughtfully planned washroom is also a place to learn and share. On the sink counter rests a rack of pamphlets that inform on relevant topics, from sexual orientation to contraception. A poster in one of the stalls sends a message about changing the way people are treated online, and encourages students to post positive messages.
The entrance door to the universal washroom is beautifully painted with stars and planets, thanks to art teacher Ms. Koranteng. A plaque hangs beside the door indicating the washroom is accessible to men, women, and has wheelchair access. This information is provided in Braille on the plaque.
EMSB Regional Director Evelyn Alfonsi was thanked by Principal Vitantonio for providing the funding for the universal washroom. EMSB Vice- Chair and Commissioner Sylvia Lo Bianco and Spiritual, Religious and Moral Education Consultant Frank Lofredo were present for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Guests all enjoyed a reception to celebrate this important accomplishment.
Michael J. Cohen