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Same-sex toilets in London school cause outrage among parents

Meka Beresford November 26, 2016
Bathroom

Newly built unisex toilets have sparked outrage at a school in East London as parents complain they will promote sexual behaviour between students at the school.

A newly built building in Buxton School in Leytonstone that cost £12 million has sparked a petition which has gained over 500 signatures in 24 hours.

The toilets, which are for pupils over the age of 8, have been welcomed by staff, but a petition has been created by parents who fear they could lead to “assaults.”

Headteacher Kath Wheeler is confident the toilets will encourage respect between students, and not all parents at the school disagree.

Many believe it is a progressive step in the right direction as it strips away discrimination against transgender and non-binary students.

Caroline Emma Burns said she is not sure what people are concerned about.

She told ITV: “Everyone should be able to use the toilet in peace whether in unisex or single sex toilets. Hopefully the kids will be taught to be respectful of each other, whether in the toilets or not.”

Most of the parents angered by the toilets fear they will increase the risk of child abuse and sexual activity between students.

A mum of one of the students, Shaila Hussain, said: “This concept of mixed toilets will not only make children feel differentiated but shame in using toilets. This will initiate more sexualised behaviour. It would be better to keep it separated as it’s safer.

“The toilets leading to the corridor can still be open, for staff to oversee single sex toilets. Having the unisex toilets will allow nothing but more mischievous behaviour,” she added.

The toilets meet regulations set by the Department of Education and Waltham Forest Council Regulations. Children under the age of 8 have access to bathrooms attached to the classrooms.

More: LGBT, London, non-binary, school, Trans, Transgender

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