Parents fear 'forced sexualisation' of kids with gender-neutral toilet
Parents fear ‘forced sexualisation’ of children at £10million state-of-the-art Welsh school after it unveils gender-neutral toilet for adult visitors
- Ysgol Corn Hir in Llangefni opened its doors on Monday with bright new interiors
- But parents feared the ‘welfare of their children’ over the ‘ridiculous’ new toilets
A Welsh primary school has unveiled a gender-neutral toilet for adult visitors, leaving parents fearing it will result in the ‘forced sexualisation’ of their children.
The doors to Ysgol Corn Hir in Llangefni, Wales, a £10million state-of-the-art school opened for the first time on Monday 17 April, having replaced a same-name facility built in the 1980s that had outgrown its intake.
An online preview of the colourful new school was revealed before the Easter holidays with the sign for the main reception area toilets, which are for adult visitors only, having raised a few eyebrows.
One picture showed the toilet which was signposted for binary, non-binary and disabled users. Some people labelled the loo sign as ‘ridiculous’, and one mother even said she was worried for the welfare of her child.
A spokesperson for Anglesey Council detailed that pupil-designated toilets throughout the premises are partitioned into separate male and female sections.
Welsh primary school Ysgol Corn Hir in Llangefni has unveiled a gender-neutral toilet for adult visitors, leaving parents fearing it will result in the ‘forced sexualisation’ of their children. The £10million state-of-the-art school (pictured) opened for the first time on Monday 17 April, having replaced a same-name facility built in the 1980s that had outgrown its intake
An online preview of the colourful new school was revealed before the Easter holidays with the sign for the main reception area toilets, which are for adult visitors only, having raised a few eyebrows. The toilet was signposted for binary, non-binary and disabled users. Some people labelled the loo sign (pictured) as ‘ridiculous’, and one mother even said she was worried for the welfare of her child
Llangefni mother ‘C Parry’ said she was concerned after attending a preview day at the school earlier in April.
‘Many of us were shocked to see separate trans toilets, with big trans signs, in a school for 4 to 11-year-olds,’ she told North Wales Live.
‘This extreme approach by Anglesey Council will take away the innocence of our young children and amounts to a forced sexualisation of our kids by the council.’
Although the toilets are for adult users only, they are located in the school reception and some parents worry about the message it conveys.
One woman added: ‘These are children with impressionable minds. We don’t need children to be thinking about stuff like this in a school environment.’
Another mother pledged to remove her son from his school in Gwynedd if it was to adopt the same approach: ‘Disgraceful!’, she added.
While some people worried about the opening up of disabled toilets to all, many others saluted the efforts being made by the council to embrace all identities.
READ MORE: Ministers could stop trans women from accessing single-sex spaces with Equality Act overhaul
Kemi Badenoch, the women and equalities minister, has written to Britain’s equalities watchdog about updating legislation to make clear that ‘sex’ refers to ‘biological sex’
One said: ‘Do gender neutral or trans people not work in primary schools?’, while another added: ‘As long as they still offer single-sex toilets, I don’t see a problem – aside from disabled people having to wait even longer for an accessible toilet.’
A non-binary female dismissed the notion that gender-neutral facilities would push the idea of gender self-identification into schools.
‘It’s not out there to make kids uncertain,’ they said. ‘It’s there to let the already uncertain ones know that there is a choice and that they will be accepted no matter who they want to become.’
The toilet sign at Ysgol Corn Hir does not use symbols designed by the council, however the gender-neutral symbol has ruffled feathers amongst the non-binary community as it appears to depict a ‘half-and-half’ person.
It displays the outline of a woman, a man, a wheelchair user and a figure with both the trousers of a man’s outline and the skirt of a woman’s.
It is understood that gender-neutral toilets can be reassuring for some transgender men and women who fear discrimination in binary toilets.
Rachel Dee, president of The Beaumont Society, a self-help body for the UK’s transgender community, called on Anglesey Council to reconsider its approach and says it displays the ‘lack of thought’ towards trans people.
She said: ‘It is disappointing that the school has decided to do this. It just shows the lack of thought by many people towards transgender people male or female.
‘It is indicative of the general negative attitude towards the trans community generated by government and media. I hope that the school involved will have a re-think in the very near future.’
Last year the UK Government said new offices, schools, hospitals and entertainment venues will in future be expected to have separate male and female lavatories, rather than gender-neutral facilities.
A further move that has alarmed the non-binary community this week was that UK equalities secretary Kemi Badenoch is reportedly considering challenging the Equality Act to redefine gender as ‘biological sex’.
This would enable single-sex restrictions against trans people and could result in trans women being barred from single-sex spaces and events, including hospital wards and sports.
A spokesperson for the school said: ‘The toilets located in the new school’s main reception area are for adult visitors only.
‘Pupil-designated toilets throughout the school are partitioned into separate male and female sections, with shared handwashing facilities.’
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