Parents Outraged After School Removes Wall from Front of Girls’ Toilets
Parents in the UK are keeping their daughters home from their high school after recent renovations stripped them of the privacy of using the school’s bathrooms discreetly.
St Mary’s College, in Wallasey, Merseyside, has removed the front wall of a girls’ toilet block leaving only the cubicle doors between users and other pupils.
The toilet cubicle doors are now exposed to an open corridor and are in clear sight of at least one classroom and a CCTV camera.
It is understood that the school plans on giving the boy’s toilets the same treatment shortly.
The decision has been made by the school in a bid to stop smoking, bullying and truancy, with the new layout meaning pupils can no longer hide in between lessons.
Tara Hodgson Jones, who has a daughter in year 11 and a son in year 9 at the school, saw the toilets for herself when she attended a parent’s evening at the school on Friday.
She told The Independent that she is keeping her daughter at home as she does not feel safe with the new toilet layout.
“My sister and neighbours are doing the same with their daughters,” Ms Hodgson Jones added. “Apparently they are starting on the boys’ toilets next week, so I’ll be keeping my son off too if they do the same.
“My daughter was bullied in year 10 and that was in the classroom, the yard and the lunch hall, so thinking that taking a toilet wall down will stop it is stupid. As for smoking, put alarms in. As for skipping class, use frosted glass so teachers can see shapes when they walk past.
“My daughter feels scared and unsafe – it’s shocking.”
Students have taken to Snapchat to demonstrate the lack of privacy the new layout of the bathrooms has afforded them:
The high school is a voluntarily aided academy for 11 to 17-year-olds – meaning it is not run by the local authority and is self-governed.
On Twitter, one parent wrote: My daughter has come home the last two days from this school and feels appalled by this, and says she has no privacy.”
Another parent disagreed and said: “My daughter attends this school and I don’t see it as a bad thing – I do believe it’s for the protection of the students and school safety.
“Really don’t know what the fuss is about?”
Another parent told the Liverpool Echo that the removal of the toilet wall was “absolutely disgusting”.
“They clearly haven’t considered what girls past puberty have to deal with, so to have only one door for privacy without the added security of a room is terrible.
“There are classrooms opposite the toilets, there is even a camera facing them – for girls between the ages of 11 and 16, it’s unacceptable.”
While it is definitely understandable that the school wishes to eradicate this anti-social behaviour, is removing all privacy really the answer here? What do you think?