Girls are refusing to use gender-neutral toilets in Scottish secondary schools owing to boys’ misbehaviour and vandalism.
According to reports, male students have been spotted “waving sanitary goods like flags” and urinating in sanitary bins.
Gender-neutral bathrooms are becoming increasingly common in Scottish educational institutes. Schools in Angus, Dundee, East Renfrewshire and Edinburgh have all introduced such facilities, and all new school buildings in both primary and secondary schools. Edinburgh will soon have unisex toilets and communal hand-washing facilities by default.
This move to gender neutrality is supported by Scottish National Party politicians and by the Scottish Equality and Human Rights Commission. One councillor has expressed his concerns at a recent meeting regarding the gender-neutral toilets.
Councillor Harry Scott (Scottish Borders) told a council meeting on Thursday that in one school, “there have been instances of boys waving sanitary products like flags and urinating in sanitary bins,” according to the Southern Reporter.
Girls at the school have “gone days without using toilets on campus due to sharing facilities,” the report claimed. The school in question added afterwards that it was “unaware” of these incidents, and noted that within the shared bathrooms, some individual cubicles were reserved for each sex.
Yet students of both genders still share common areas within these bathrooms. “Why is it not possible to have male, female and gender-neutral toilets which would cater for the needs of everyone?” Scott said at the meeting. “Why can that not be achieved in our schools?”
Parents throughout Scotland have spoken out against gender-neutral bathrooms in secondary schools, which allow 12-year-old girls and 18-year-old males to use the same facilities.
These facilities are also unpopular with the Scottish population, with 56 percent of Scots against them and only 21% in favour, according to a recent survey. Gender-neutral toilets were endorsed by 22% of respondents, but only in conjunction with regular single-sex facilities.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE TIMES
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