Parents say new “mixed-gender” toilets planned for a college in Huddersfield are wrong and will make young students feel threatened.
Shelley College claims the new facilities – which will feature cubicles and a shared handwashing area – are “more modern”.
However, concerned parents have expressed alarm, with one father saying his daughter will be coming home instead of using the school toilets.
Writing on Facebook, one woman said: “A 13 year old female girl going to the toilets alone when there could be a group of 18 year old men in there would be intimidating. No-one should be made to feel like this.”
Another commentator wrote: “From a parent of a shy teenage boy in the school I think it would be difficult for him to go to the toilet if a large group of girls are hanging about in there it’s humiliation for both the girls & the boys”.
A pupil on the college’s student council said she had not been informed about the move.
Other parents said they will be complaining to the governors.
The college, which is made up of a secondary school and a sixth form college, made the plan public in a bulletin for parents.
It explained: “To improve the Health and Safety of students around the College and to introduce a more modern system, we are moving to open plan, mixed-gender toileting facilities.”
“Due to the change to mixed-gender facilities, all toilets will be in enclosed, lockable cubicles, with no urinal blocks”, it added, and said the cubicles will have “floor to ceiling doors”.
The college defended its actions to a local newspaper, following the outcry.
Last year parents spoke out after gender-neutral toilets were installed in a new school building in East London.
Buxton School in Leytonstone was fitted with the toilets for use by children aged eight and above.
But parents expressed concerns about privacy and a lack of consultation.
Mother Shaila Hussain said: “This will initiate more sexualised behaviour. It would be better to keep it separated as it’s safer.”