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Unisex toilets in primary schools

(79 Posts)
Tessa101 Thu 20-Apr-17 14:41:45

I've just read an article about new primary schools being built with unisex toilets to allow for lesbian, gay and transgender children. Really!!!! Am I wrong in thinking they are far to young to know about these things. Or am I behind with the times.

Luckygirl Thu 20-Apr-17 14:55:06

Our primary school does, quite rightly, have separate toilets for girls and boys, and in addition a toilet specifically for the top class girls,many of whom have started their periods and feel the need for some privacy.

Unisex toilets need not be about catering for all the above, but simply to do with costs and space. I would not favour this, knowing how little boys struggle with their aim!

Riverwalk Thu 20-Apr-17 14:57:33

Tessa can you provide a link so we can see exactly what's being proposed?

mcem Thu 20-Apr-17 15:27:38

Millions were spent locally on a new secondary school complete with unisex toilets for that same reason. Within weeks the Male and Female signs went up as it was realised that the incidence of bullying was soaring.

Nelliemoser Thu 20-Apr-17 16:18:57

Tessa101 No! They are not "far too young" to know about "these" things.
This is like the idiot idea by ?some politician of thinking up mixed sex wards.

The new part of a local comp, (I am not sure if it is just the 6th form block) have unisex cloakrooms. It is not right.

I think we all probably feel vulnerable when going into cloakrooms of the opposite sex is around. would you like to be seen buying sanitary protection is a unisex toilet?
I like the idea of luckygirls school with special provision for the girls dealing with their first periods.

aggie Thu 20-Apr-17 17:01:44

How many people have unisex toilets at home ? Just asking ............

GillT57 Thu 20-Apr-17 17:09:02

More than likely the toilets were built for the very small, young infants who sometimes need help or supervision and it makes sense to have them unisex. Then the Daily Mail stirred it up into some kind of sexual perversion fest for the under 10s. Keep calm. grin

ginny Thu 20-Apr-17 17:10:42

Ah but aggie. At home our loos and bathrooms are generally used by a small number of people we know.

grannypiper Thu 20-Apr-17 18:04:29

aggie we may share a loo at home but we dont have strangers wandering round our homes. I was 8 when my periods started and it was bad enough going to school during a period it would have been hell if i had to have a shared loo space with immature little boys

Ana Thu 20-Apr-17 18:45:15

To be fair, GillT57 it wasn't the Daily Mail - it's some primary school in Glasgow that started all this and it's been reported by many newspapers (it's not news of the day!)

Ana Thu 20-Apr-17 18:46:59

Although if you really want a right wing publication's take on it...

aggie Thu 20-Apr-17 19:19:37

Well I suppose entirely cubicalled toilets might help ?

Bluebell123 Fri 21-Apr-17 06:54:46

Times are a-changing!
Our school has male and female loos and gender-neutral washrooms from kindergarten to Grade 12 to accommodate the LGBTG students and teachers.The school community is inclusive. Diversity is valued and respected and the little children just accept gender-variant and transgender students along with everybody

Welshwife Fri 21-Apr-17 07:23:56

A school I taught at in the 70s and 80s had unisex toilets. For what was the Infants facilities they were built in a block within the classroom space. There were two complete cubicles in the block. They had high windows which were too high for the children to look in but an adult could - so any worry at all and you could have a peep. For the older children there were two cubicles for each classroom within the cloakroom area just outside the classroom. Sometimes a class of children themselves would more or less decided that one was male and one female but it was not labelled or anything. The school was built to take up to11 year olds. Never any problems.
In France many places have just two or three unisex toilets - occasionally you get a place with only one toilet!!

vampirequeen Fri 21-Apr-17 07:24:49

When I was in the sixth form back in the Dark Ages we had unisex toilets. We never thought anything of it.

NfkDumpling Fri 21-Apr-17 07:33:37

My DGS's nursery has just two toilets side by side so one person can keep an eye on two children at the same time. So moving on to infant school the children would be used to unisex loos. Perhaps Urinal loos and Cubical loos might be an option? Or, like in some French loos have the urinals at one end - although preferably the far end. I hate having to walk past a row of blokes to get to the cubicles!

(DGS insisted the other day on using the Mens loo so he could use the urinal now he's just about tall enough (a tall three years). I had to stand outside and wait until he called for me to open the outside door as it had a strong spring. Felt very awkward!)

vampirequeen Fri 21-Apr-17 07:35:11

Just read the article. I'm more concerned about the sexualisation of children by society rather than the potential for wild orgies in primary toilets.

I'm amazed the media hasn't caught on to the fact that primary children get changed for PE in front of each other. Yes indeed, they strip to their underwear. Not only that but a lot of primary teachers turn it into a competition and award stickers to those children who get changed the quickest. Surely someone should get on their soapbox about this obvious encouragement of voyeurism grin

vampirequeen Fri 21-Apr-17 07:35:49

and exhibitionism grin

NfkDumpling Fri 21-Apr-17 08:02:34

I agree with VQ first paragraph. Sexualisation of children at such a young age is wrong. They're simply children. DGS happily rides his cousin's handed down bright pink bike having no knowledge yet of the colour bar for boys to have anything pink. In a time when equality is lauded more than ever little girls and little boys seem to be more stereotyped than ever. Just let them be children until their teens when all will become clear. Even then, does it really matter?

Personally I don't like the idea of girls having to change for PE in front of boys once they're heading for puberty. Periods etc are just toooo embarrassing.

Nelliemoser Fri 21-Apr-17 08:34:58

My rising 5 DGS1 (and younger brother) are both quite small for their age. I do wonder how DGS1 will get on unless they have infant size toilets.

(I have not been near primary school toilets for years so I have no idea how big they are.)

Nelliemoser Fri 21-Apr-17 08:55:56

We all like some privacy using the toilet, within a family it is slightly different. In a family our little chidren are happy to sit on a potty in front of all and sundry.
I think children naturally develop the social norms about such privacy issues.

I am sure small boys competitions about how high they can pee are still going on. Not a feat us girls are equipped for. I wonder if we were we would try.

When my DS was at nursery school we were living an area with a quite big Jewish population. At at one point my son asked why some boys had "patterns on their willies." I did not try to explain circumcision and its historical religious significance to an under 5.

Welshwife Fri 21-Apr-17 09:12:19

Nellie - the infant school toilets - like their chairs and tables - are little people sized!

trisher Fri 21-Apr-17 09:24:01

The girls will soon sort things out looking for the place with the best mirrors and a space where they can meet to gossip before and after using the loo. Boys will rush in and out as they usually do, unless there is an opportunity to do something like turning the taps on or blocking the drain with paper towels. (Sorry I know it's sexist but in my experience that's what goes on)
Seriously it is irrelevant and a way of deflecting from the real problems in education.

Tessa101 Fri 21-Apr-17 10:16:44

Riverwalk, I've just looked news headlines again and I see Ana has provided the link. Not sure why but it appears it was headline news in March and it's now come back into the news. I didn't see it first time round, but was surprised by it yesterday. I called my DD as my GD is 7 and asked her about GD school andshe said yes hers are unisex toilets.I posted on here as was interested in all your opinions as I know it's something I never experienced growing up.

goldengirl Fri 21-Apr-17 11:43:56

It's the way the issue is approached. We are so used to Girls / Boys and Ladies / Gents that any change is something to be feared. If it is seen as the 'norm' what's the problem? The cubicles aren't shared when being used after all so there is privacy.