The Chicago Public School (CPS) district, rocked by a pandemic-fueled decline in attendance, has made new trouble for itself by removing gendered bathrooms throughout the district, according to a video by the by CPS that’s circulating on Twitter.
The video says the decision was taken to comply with federal guidelines on gender treatment of bathrooms.
New signs will identify the type of fixtures available in the bathroom “and make it clear that all restrooms are open for use by anyone who feels comfortable,” said the video.
Chicago once again addressing the root cause to the ills of the community, I am sure the gun and gang violence will just disappear…..
— Tony Atlas (@creole911) December 2, 2021
The bathrooms will be open to both students and staff for use equally.
“All CPS students and staff will have fair and equitable access to bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity,” said Camie Pratt of CPS.
Commentators on social media were not impressed.
“Chicago once again addressing the root cause to the ills of the community, I am sure the gun and gang violence will just disappear…..” said Tony Atlas on Twitter.
The school district has lost more than 25,000 students since the pandemic began, losses that merely accelerated because of the virus shutdowns.
“These losses aren’t being offset with robust new enrollment,” reported public radio WBEZ, “leading to a 3% drop in students this fall. Official enrollment is now 330,411 students. This decrease, which accelerated during the pandemic, continues a decade of declines in which the school district lost nearly 74,000 students.”
CPS also continues to suffer from violence and threats of violence.
In September, two students were shot and killed at Simeon Career Academy High School and subsequent social media threats of violence continued to drive higher rates of truancy.
“On Thursday, police announced a man was taken into custody after making a series of social media threats, which have been impacting attendance this week,” said Fox 32 News.
Also driving lower attendance is the decline in test scores that’s a consequence of the pandemic.
“At CPS, 21% of kids met or exceeded English standards this year, compared to 28% in 2019. In math, only 16% met or exceeded expectations, down from 24% the year before the pandemic,” reported the Chicago Sun Times.