In an effort to become gender-neutral, Reykjanesbær’s elementary school, Akurskóli, has removed gender signs from its restroom doors.
In an interview with gayiceland.is, Principal Sigurbjörg Róbertsdóttir said, “There are currently children attending the school who are gender-fluid or trans, it’s not up to us, the school, to force them or anybody else into a pre-designed form.” The school’s restrooms don’t have the large booth setup, but simply resemble the typical bathroom you have at home.
Another step the school has made toward becoming gender-neutral is changing recommendations regarding what to wear for swimming lessons. Instead of requiring girls to wear swimsuits and boys swim trunks, children are now instructed to wear “appropriate swim-attire,” without specifying which gender should wear what.
“We don’t see anything wrong with girls wearing trunks at the swimming pool, if they want to, or boys wearing a swimsuit. The kids can simply choose which one to use,” Sigurbjörg commented.
Reaction from parents and staff has been very positive, according to the principal. Samtökin ’78, the national queer organization, gave a lecture on prejudice at the school, and school authorities decided to make their visit at least an annual event.
Sigurbjörg is proud of these steps and hopes other schools will follow suit.