‘This should’ve been done when the first ever school opened’: Majority of readers back boys and girls sharing toilet blocks in schools

The Cambridge News reports that open-plan and gender-neutral toilets in schools are a great way of preventing bullying while allowing privacy, a majority of readers have said.

The News reported yesterday (October 25) that secondary schools in Cambridgeshire are increasingly opting to build toilet blocks where cubicles open straight onto the corridor, with school heads saying the design is proven to reduce bullying and vandalism.

While the majority of these new-look loos are not strictly gender-neutral – most schools have designated cubicles for boys and girls – all pupils use the same open-plan area and share a unisex hand-washing station.

Commenting on the News’ Facebook page, Lydia Lacey said: “My memories of school toilets when I was in my first year of secondary school was that they were horrible and intimidating places that the older kids used to hang out in smoking. An open-plan toilet would, I feel, solve an awful lot of antisocial problems provided they are suitably supervised by the school staff.”

Peter Spence said: “Innovation will always get criticism. If they were always like this then there would be nothing to talk about. This should’ve been done when the first ever school opened. If it stops one person from being bullied, surely it’s worth it.”

But not all readers were behind the idea.

Marlena Sobotta said: “Not only can people see your feet but they can hear everything going on in the cubicles. It’s just humiliating.”

Charlie Barratt said: “So if a child suffers from IBS or something similar they may try to hold it in until they get home? Equally girls who have just started their period will be even more nervous about being heard unwrapping sanitary products? Not a great idea.”

Read more ‘This should’ve been done when the first ever school opened’: Majority of readers back boys and girls sharing toilet blocks in schools

What do you think? Just humiliating or a good deterrent to stop the bullies and vandalism? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. Judith Wilson

    “…provided they are suitably supervised by the school staff” – good luck with that one! Most staff (both teaching and non-teaching) struggle to find time to cram down a sandwich and/or a drink as it is.

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