A decision by Swanmore College to make some of its toilets gender-neutral has been criticised by parents.
The school said on social media: “The toilet renovation in W Block is now finished. They will be our first gender-neutral toilets for pupils.
“They include one cubicle for “boys”, one cubicle for “girls” and three non-specified. There is an open plan entrance lobby with the communal areas covered by CCTV.”
Some parents say the school should have consulted before decided to make the changes and other cited concerns about girls, in particular, being worried about having to use toilets which will also be used by boys.
One mother said: “My daughter isn’t going to be happy sharing toilets with the boys. Think this might cause you more trouble than you anticipate I’m afraid….. and as a parent, I’m concerned too.”
Another said: “I’m disgusted at the fact of shared toilets. This is wrong on so many levels.”
Another wrote: “I don’t agree with this at all! Did the school even ask parents if they minded this being done? I feel sorry for the kids. It’s going to make so many very uncomfortable.”
“Where was the email saying this was going to happen or even asking what parents think about it?” asked another parent: “No way should this be done. You wouldn’t do a mixed changing room so why mixed toilets?”
Another said: “How can you expect children/ teenagers to share toilets? I’m guessing the reason this wasn’t put to a vote for parents is because you knew it wouldn’t be welcome?
“Even as an adult I’d be uncomfortable sharing ‘gender-neutral toilets’? These young people are at an age where things are daunting enough, especially girls going through puberty…
I’m slightly horrified at this decision.”
There was also some support for the move. One former pupils said: “Why are people so angry about this? It’s literally in one block. Not all the toilets in the school are like this.”
Another supporter said: “My son is at UTC Portsmouth…. all the toilets are like this…. I have used them too… kids just get on and use them… it decreases bullying…. it really isn’t a problem….”
Photographs: Swanmore College