In a move that has been dubbed as “not fair on kids,” a London elementary school has made its toilets gender neutral.
Gender neutral toilets have been introduced in other schools–in particular, high schools–across the UK under the banner of trying to promote inclusivity and tolerance, but have often reported negative consequences.
Girls claimed to feel unsafe sharing a toilet with boys, and some avoid using the toilets during school hours–or, in some instances, avoid going to school entirely.
Deanesfield Primary School, on Queens Walk in South Ruislip, decided to make the switch to gender neutral toilets during the summer break.
Parents were outraged by the decision and a petition was set up outside the school’s front gates.
Parents have also claimed that the school didn’t consult them on the controversial decision.
Girl students at this elementary school, which teaches students up to the age of eleven, have refused to attend over feeling uncomfortable with sharing the toilet facilities with boys.
The Express reports:
One parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, told MyLondon: “Making the toilets unisex isn’t the issue for me, it’s the fact they haven’t followed the guidelines, which state that unisex toilets must have cubicle walls from floors to ceiling.
“Girls are being forced to hold themselves until they get home which could damage kidneys. My friend’s daughter has been holding herself all day because she’s so embarrassed. It’s not fair on the kids really.”
They added, “We as parents have not even been notified of the change which is a bit wrong.”
One of the biggest concerns is the lack of communication to parents before experimenting with gender neutral toilets.
Many gender neutral toilets at schools are being used, not to cut costs, but to promote inclusivity and emphasize cultural-political narratives–at the expense of the students’ well-being.