UTC Aquatics Center Replaces Confusing Locker Room Signage Following Parental Concerns

Image Credit: utc.edu

The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

According to campus leadership, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) has replaced some controversial signage that was posted outside the restrooms in their aquatics center, after concerns of a parent were brought to their attention.

Earlier this week, we were informed that a parent had recently visited UTC’s pool facilities with their children, only to encounter signs outside of the main restrooms encouraging young children to contemplate concepts of queer theory.

“We kindly ask that children 7 years and older use the universal changing rooms on the 3rd floor or the locker room that aligns with their gender identity,” read the recreation department’s sign. 

The Tennessee Conservative reached out to UTC leadership to ask why these signs had been posted in the first place.

Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications and Marketing at UTC, Gina Stafford, told us that the signs were posted in response to a recent complaint they had received. 

“The signage was posted in the facility in response to a recent complaint concerning a parent who had his 10-year-old daughter with him in the men’s locker room,” wrote Stafford. “The signage was intended to communicate the age at which children need to use their own locker room and the availability of universal changing room options.”

Even if parents do not feel comfortable with the idea of their child going into an all ages changing room alone, many would at least understand the facility’s intent if the signs simply informed individuals of the age restriction and the existence of “family restrooms” on the 3rd floor.

Instead, the sign directly asked young children to choose where to change based on their “gender identity.” 

“Unfortunately, the wording of the signage, which had not been reviewed by campus leadership before its posting, caused confusion among patrons regarding its intended message,” Stafford said.

According to Stafford, the signage in question has now been removed and replaced with new signage “noting the availability of universal changing rooms on the third floor of the facility.”

Reportedly the new sign simply reads, “Universal/Family changing rooms are on the third floor.”

The Tennessee Conservative also reached out to Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga-District 10) and Rep. Yusuf Hakeem (D-Chattanooga-District 28) who both have UTC in their districts, but at the time of this article’s publication neither of them has responded for comment. 

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at adelia@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

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