A number of parents at Cedars Academy, in Birstall, Leicester, complained after the school installed a number of gender neutral toilets at the request of students
Image: Leicestershire Live WS)
Parents have criticized a school’s decision to install gender neutral toilets, despite the fact they were introduced at the request of the students themselves.
Cedars Academy in Birstall, Leicester, came under fire but stood by its decision to introduce the inclusive facilities.
Parents began arguing online about the loos, with some angry they hadn’t been consulted and others saying their children wouldn’t go to the loo, Leicestershire Livereports.
Others also falsely claimed all the school’s toilets had been converted.
Others pointed out that the school still has gender separated toilets across its campus and that no one is forced to use the gender neutral stalls.
Others pointed out that gender neutral toilets were commonplace across the UK, just not often labeled as such in cafes and restaurants and other public spaces.
James Rolfe, the principal associate, said that the toilets had been introduced at the request of the student council and student LGTBQ+ group.
The toilets have floor-to-ceilings cubicles and are in an open plan area covered by CCTV.
One parent took to Facebook to moan about the decision.
The parent complained: “Have I heard right that Cedars has made all toilets ‘gender neutral’? My child now refuses to go toilet at break times as doesn’t want to be in mixed toilets.
“Thus will be asking to go during class time, however this is generally frowned upon and often not allowed! What is my child supposed to do?”
The parent was wrong, all of the toilets had not been converted to gender neutral.
Other parents waded in on the social media platform to voice their opinion.
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Another mum agreed, and said: “Don’t think my son could handle going in with girls, they are just all starting out puberty, it won’t be nice for girls either!”
Another mum said she thought parents should have been consulted in the decision.
She wrote: “Yes this is true, my daughter has told me this on Friday. Not right not consulting with her parents. However I have been assured that there is a set of male only and female only toilets onsite.”
But many defended the school’s decision. One Facebook user wrote: “Someone has explained there are girls, boys and gender neutral toilets.
“They have not made ‘all toilets gender neutral’. We are all trying to move towards a more accepting society and for that young person who is struggling and/or embracing their gender identity de ella, a gender neutral bathroom may be a safe haven for them.
Another agreed, writing: “You go to a café with one toilet and no one has an issue, but someone labels some toilets gender neutral and the snowflakes throw a strop. Calm down, it’s a toilet.”
One parent made a suggestion: “I would have the conversation about why they don’t feel comfortable in mixed toilets. There might be something deeper going on.”
James Rolf, principal, said: “The Cedars Academy prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive school for all students.
“We work hard to educate on, and discuss, a broad spectrum of subjects so that our young people are understanding and respectful of each other and the world around them.
“At the request of our student council and LGBTQ+ group, we are changing some, but not all, toilets to gender neutral.
“The gender neutral facilities have floor to ceiling cubicles, are in an open plan area that is covered by CCTV and therefore, are easily supervised.
“We are keeping other toilet facilities as male only and female only, ensuring all our students have a choice.”