Parents are up in arms after being told their children will have to use gender-neutral toilets in a new school building.
A new building at Buxton School in Leytonstone, East London, has been fitted with the toilets, for use by children aged eight and above.
Headteacher Kath Wheeler says the facilities will create ‘safe spaces’ for pupils.
There has been an outcry amongst parents, who fear the toilets will lead to children being sexualised at a young age.
Mother Shaila Hussain said: “This will initiate more sexualised behaviour. It would be better to keep it separated as it’s safer.”
Another parent said: “Why would you want girls and boys in the same bathroom? Privacy seems to be out of the window nowadays.
“This is ridiculous to think it’s ok for schools to have unisex toilets.
“It’s difficult to deal with the opposite sexes in normal circumstances, but now you think the children have to deal with awkwardness in the bathroom. Keep their privacy separate.”
We do not wish for our children to be part of this social experiment
Others parents have complained that there was no consultation before a decision was taken to install the toilets.
One wrote: “This is a terrible idea”, adding: “I am very upset that the school did not even have the decency to consult with the parents of the children, this came as a shock”.
More than 800 people have signed a petition, calling for the facilities to be scrapped. It states:
“We do not wish for our children to be part of this social experiment and therefore request the head teacher to take the appropriate action to restore traditionally segregated facilities without undue delay.”
A statement from Buxton School claimed “no pupil would have to use a unisex toilet if they did not want to”.
In 2014, more than 130 parents signed a petition against ‘gender neutral’ toilets installed at an East Sussex primary school in order to prevent ‘transphobia’.
They complained that their children had experienced distress as a result of the toilets.
One mother said: “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.”