Secondary school’s new unisex toilets will be a haven for bullies and even underage sex, parents warn

The Mail is reporting parents at a Northampton school who are unhappy (or ‘outraged’) that teenage boys and girls at a secondary school are now sharing unisex toilets…

Moulton School, Northampton, merged two blocks last month in a bid to cut bullying in ‘intimidating’ single-sex toilets.

But parents said the move could have the opposite effect – and teenagers with ‘raging hormones’ may shift their amorous liasons away from the bike sheds and onto school property.

Mother-of-two Jayne Poole, 39, said: ‘If the kids are dating there will be no more “round the back of the bike sheds” – it will be the toilets they escape to.

At a time of raging hormones and teenage angst they need their own personal and separate space.

‘I think this is a very bad idea.’

Headteacher Trevor Jones is believed to have made the controversial decision with the backing of school governors.

He said: ‘We want to provide excellent facilities for our students and this design is intended to reduce both bullying and vandalism, as traditional toilet areas can be intimidating and unpleasant areas for students to go into.’

There are also other toilets in the school which have remained single-sex-only.

But the mixed toilet, which has two boys’ and two girls’ cubicles with a shared wash basin and hand dryer, has annoyed parents in other ways.

It has no mirrors, supposedly to stop it becoming a social hub.

One parent, who did not want to be named, said: ‘Girls, especially teenagers, care about their appearance, even more so when they are at a school with boys, so to remove the mirrors is ridiculous…

Former headteacher Chris McGovern, 62, is the chairman of the volunteer parents’ group the Campaign For Real Education and worked as a teacher for 35 years.

He said he was ‘extremely sceptical’, adding: ‘It may actually increase bullying because it is an area that teachers will rarely go – it could drive bullying underground, behind closed doors, in a way.

There’s no reason why it will possibly reduce any form of bullying.

‘Toilets are, and should be, private for both sexes. Mixing them could cause a disaster and children would probably want to have separate toilets.

‘Pupils are under enough pressure as it is in school.

‘I do believe it will be worse for the girls – and I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the students don’t want to go to the toilet while they are in school.

He added: ‘It seems to be an exceptional decision, I haven’t heard many like this before. It doesn’t seem logical at all.’

…Headteacher Mr Jones said: ‘The new area is being used regularly and safely, and the only adverse comment that has come from the students is regarding the absence of mirrors; a deliberate decision to avoid toilet areas becoming areas for social gathering.’

More at:  Secondary school’s new unisex TOILETS will be a haven for bullies and even underage sex, parents warn

Does your/your child’s secondary school have unisex toilets? Do they work well or are there problems? Please let us know what you think in the comments, on twitter and by taking part in our poll… 

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Categories: Secondary.

Comments

  1. SamanthaSimic

    SchoolsImprove I am pro unisex toilets. Same sex bullying, and even sex, occurs already but not exclusively in toilets.

  2. KathPoulter

    SchoolsImprove Absolutely horrific. Quite apart from bullying what about the childrens dignity especially the girls. Would supporters of ~

  3. KathPoulter

    SchoolsImprove ~ of this scheme like to cope with their own monthlies knowing a boy is in the cubicle next door?! Also both sexes need ~

  4. slimboy

    Our school has sinfke sex toilets with closed cubickes for peivacy however the washing area is open to prevent bullying.

  5. scatty167

    SchoolsImprove all new secondary school being built hav these open unisex toilets, they r made boys and girls but also a unisex set as well

  6. N_R_Davies

    SchoolsImprove if open plan this design will reduce bullying as much easier to monitor and manage. Understandable initial concerns however!

  7. pibbott

    SchoolsImprove Prior to opening we had same concerns but after a year of them realise they are excellent. No fears justified.

  8. Paul_Saxelby

    SchoolsImprove We have one of the highest teen pregnancies inEurope, we are talking about lower age of consent. Now unisex toilets that NOT

  9. Jackie H

    @MumForAutism SchoolsImprove Completely agree. I cannot imagine anything more humiliating than dealing with an ‘accident’ during menstruation with boys wandering in and out.

  10. vicgoddard

    GoveyM SchoolsImprove happy to provide the very illuminating and unarguable evidence that disprove this viewpoint. Come and see them!

  11. JCunningham66

    bannsider1987 SchoolsImprove Actually – having seen them – whilst being apprehensive – they really do work ! Very open – but with privacy

  12. balance_ec

    vicgoddard GoveyM SchoolsImprove Many of us sampled them ourselves #EssexBDO & I’ve seen them in action during school day too #noproblem

  13. evilflea

    .SchoolsImprove I like the way the Mail’s pretending this is the 1st school EVER to have single sex toilets, when it’s increasingly common.

  14. evilflea

    .SchoolsImprove I like the way the Mail’s pretending this is the 1st school EVER to have unisex toilets, when it’s increasingly common.

  15. judecole

    SchoolsImprove if 2 kids were determined to have sex I don’t think they would be stopped in their tracks by single sex toilets! Stupid.

  16. Angry_Teacher_

    SchoolsImprove Grow up people. This is a proven & effective way to tackle the probs of bullying and vandalism. There are other toilets too.

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