Primary schools across Glasgow, Scotland are introducing unisex toilets to tackle bullying and support children “confused about their gender identity,” according to the local council.
There will be no separate facilities for boys and girls in three new junior schools. The toilets will be labelled ‘unisex’ rather than ‘girls’ or boys’ to ‘tackle anti-social behavior and make LGBT students feel more at ease’.
The move has been questioned by some parents who say the new initiative could instead lead to premature sexualization and sexual abuse.
STV news reports:
The plans have come under fire from some parents but council officials say they will reduce bullying and vandalism.
They also explained there are individual toilets with which go from floor to ceiling.
The first school to be given the new gender-neutral toilets is Hillhead Primary in the city’s west end with a block of six now being used by all pupils.
Pupils at Gowanbank Primary School in Nitshill will also used shared toilet facilities when the under construction building is completed.
Work is expected to start on Carntyne and Blairdardie primaries in the summer after planning applications were submitted. Both will have unisex toilets for pupils.
A council spokeswoman said: “The toilets in the new builds are a row of individual toilets that can be used by all and research from other local authorities shows that it can help improve behaviour and reduce bullying and vandalism.
“Parents, pupils and school staff have all been part of the design consultations for the new schools at Blairdardie and Carntnye.”
David McEwan, the council’s estate programme manager for education services, said “Bullying is reduced, behaviour is improved, no graffiti, no soggy bombs on the ceilings.
“It also assists in the LGBT agenda because if we have children even in primary school who are confused about their gender and worry – ‘do I go to the girls’ toilet or the boys’ toilet?’ – well, it doesn’t matter.”