Parents petition against ‘gender neutral’ school toilets

More than 130 parents have signed a petition against ‘gender neutral’ toilets installed at an East Sussex primary school in order to prevent ‘transphobia’.

The petition calls for the reinstatement of separate toilets for boys and girls in the interests of privacy.

Parents have already complained about the distress experienced by their children as a result of the toilets.

Stress

Lauren Hamon, who started the petition, said that the toilets have been an added stress for her five-year-old son.

She said: “These children are aged from four to 11 and boys and girls can be very silly at that age”.

Hamon raised concerns that children are able to “look underneath and over the top of the cubicles”.

Bullying

She continued: “Girls go through different changes and they may not want the males being in there.

“It’s the same for my son. He has been walked in on by two girls and came home quite upset.”

Child psychologist Dr Penelope Leach argued that unisex toilets are “standard” in society and that few families have separate facilities. However, she conceded that “a toilet block is a supreme place for teasing and bullying and having both sexes in there adds to that risk”.

Anger

Around 500 pupils, aged 3-11, returned to Harbour Primary School in Newhaven after the summer holidays, to find that they have to share facilities with the opposite sex.

The school’s headteacher, Christine Terrey said the decision to change the toilets had been taken by the Council.

The move by East Sussex County Council, was met with angry responses from parents who were unaware of the plans.

Gender questioning

Responding to parents’ concerns, Terrey said: “We want all the children in our school to feel safe and be happy.

“We also want our families to feel informed about how to effectively support transgender and gender questioning by their children”.

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