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AIBU to think this toilet design is madness in a secondary school!

(93 Posts)
Tailtwister Fri 14-Jun-13 09:53:48

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-22891134

Male/female open plan toilets in a secondary school! AIBU to think this is a crazy design? I could be wrong, but it looks like a recipe for disaster to me.

bunnyfrance Fri 14-Jun-13 10:32:54

It's not clear whether there are doors on the cubicles or not? If there are, I don't understand the sanitary towel embarrassment problem.

SirChenjin Fri 14-Jun-13 10:39:49

I can imagine that there will be a lot more mucking about and bullying/intimidation from mixed groups. Don't forget, it's not just girls who might not want to go into mixed toilets - and if they are such a great idea, why don't we have mixed public toilets?

CheesyPoofs Fri 14-Jun-13 10:56:25

But what if you want to buy tampax or sanitary towels from the machine? You may feel uncomfortable doing that in front of boys in a unisex handwash area when you're 11.

What if you leak and need to clean up?

What if you need to ask your mate in the next cubicle if that have an tampax?

Where do girls go if they want some female only space away from boys (and vice versa)?

I so prefer single sex loos for so many reasons....

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 14-Jun-13 10:58:58

Of course there are doors on the cubicles, but half an inch of plywood doesn't stop the sound of peeling a sticky backed towel from your knickers, the bang of the sanitary bin or the rustling of the packet and since you're not likely to be eating snacks on the toilet it's obvious to the person in the next cubicle what you're doing. Not an issue in all-female, adult toilets but if you're 14 and a boy is next door, well, I would have just wanted to die.

Also what if a girl needs to do a pregnancy test? The more I think about it the more I'm thinking girls really do need their own toilets.

olidusUrsus Fri 14-Jun-13 11:02:27

If there aren't any doors, how do you know which cubicles are occupied? <stupid>

Tailtwister Fri 14-Jun-13 11:05:48

Lots more replies and some very different views. I must admit I didn't know this type of design was so widespread now (my children aren't school age yet) and my first reaction was that it was crazy. I remember the toilets being a complete no go area during break time and used to ask to go during class if I was desperate, which wasn't often as I went home for lunch each day. I can imagine the whole experience being very intimidating if boys had been added to the equation too.

I don't know what the solution is, as there certainly seems to be an argument that they are good in some ways and not others. Maybe open plan but single sex toilets? Still retain the ease of policing behaviour, but take out the embarrassment factor for both boys and girls (I believe boys need their own space just as much as girls do).

sarahandemily Fri 14-Jun-13 11:20:56

I certainly think they are an improvement on my school were the toilets were a really intimidating place full of older girls smoking and there wasnt even a sanitary bin in each loo which was highly embarrassing. I basically didn't drink anything during the day at high school just so that I didn't have to use the loo. The sanitary towel aspect could be a bit difficult. Maybe the loos could still be open plan but boys and girls could be at different ends of a corridor or something.

ithaka Fri 14-Jun-13 11:52:51

My daughter never used the old loos at school, they were just to grim. She is fine using these - schools are noisy places, you are unlikely to hear peeing, anyway boys don't listen when girls speak so why should they listen to them pee?

My daughter has male friends, is in a mixed group for her DofE -setting up camp next to boys, having to disappear into the woods for a wee. let us not turn our teenage girls into delicate little flowers. Personally, I am all for more, not less, integration between the sexes.

primallass Spain Fri 14-Jun-13 11:58:03

I think a solid wall (glass bricks maybe) would have kept them open plan but separated off girls and boys a bit more.

TheBigJessie Fri 14-Jun-13 11:58:11

It would be better for children who were transgendered, either pre-transition or post-transition.

Segregated toilets are very awkward to negotiate for anyone who doesn't "fit" society's definitions precisely.

Pantone363 Fri 14-Jun-13 12:06:32

Sounds like a good idea

Our school toilets were mostly used for smoking and sex

Tiggles Fri 14-Jun-13 12:13:48

Assuming that although the picture makes it look like the cubicles don't have doors, that they actually do, I think it isn't too much of a problem, as their isn't the ability to peer over the top of them, like you can with a lot of school toilets.
Also assume that there is a separate changing/showering area for sports?

hurricanewyn Fri 14-Jun-13 12:14:36

I'm probably way off, or not thinking things through, but why don't the girls who are worried about noises flush while they're rustling around?

I have IBS & it's what I do if I need to poo in a public loo.

daisychicken Fri 14-Jun-13 12:30:40

We have them in one of our local secondary schools - a lot of girls won't use them as they don't want people to see them taking bags in or hearing the rustling of sanitary packets.... so although I agree it reduces bullying/vandalism/ hiding, it causes problems in other ways....

Porka Fri 14-Jun-13 12:37:57

They have them in DD2's school which is a new build. The teachers also use them (though I think the Head has his own).

The doors and walls are floor to ceiling so there is no likelihood that someone will hear the clank of the sanitary bin or unwrapping of sanitary products.

There are no mirrors either, but the students are not allowed makeup. If girls need to adjust their headscarves etc, their friends help them.

The whole school has been designed with glass walls etc so there aren't places to hide and I believe this does reduced bullying.

A girl was sexually assaulted in the toilets at a local school (not sure if it was my DD's) a few years back, so I think that overall they are a good idea.

MrsLyman Fri 14-Jun-13 12:46:39

Surely if you need armed police to deal with the pupils there are bigger issues than the design of the toilet.

halcyondays Fri 14-Jun-13 12:58:03

i would have been mortified if I had had to deal with periods at school with a boy in the cubicle next to me. if these toilets are such a great idea, then why do we continue to have separate toilets for men and women in most public places?

bunnyfrance Fri 14-Jun-13 13:00:17

But they won't be in the next cubicle - the boys are on the otherside of the washbasins (well, in that picture anyway)

Loupee Fri 14-Jun-13 13:10:10

This school is actually in the next town over from me, and I have seen it in the flesh.
The toilets look great, and there is actually a fair distance between the boys and girls sides. 2 sinks and a wide corridor separated the areas. So I don't thing the noise of sanitary wear would travel across. IIRC the cubicles have full doors as well, so that would further minimise.
Although my DS ia only 10 months so I appreciate I don't fully understand the needs of school pupils.

justmyview Fri 14-Jun-13 13:15:13

My understanding is that the cubicles are totally separate ie doors and walls go floor to ceiling, precisely to give pupils privacy and prevent people throwing missiles over from one cubicle to the other

From what I've heard, people prefer these toilets once they're used to the idea

musickeepsmesane Fri 14-Jun-13 13:15:38

Our local secondary has them. I was a bit [shocked] at first. The toilet cubicles are very private though, almost individual rooms. You come out onto a main thoroughfare to wash your hands, yes it is in a bit of an arc shape for privacy but I thought that was a bit public. I hated the loos at school and think that mostly this is am impovement.

salemsparklys Fri 14-Jun-13 13:17:24

I know some parents with children at this school and they are not impressed apparently.

cantspel Fri 14-Jun-13 13:23:08

Geez how much noisy do some of you make when you change or sanitary protection if you think a boy is going to hear across the other side of the loos?

The look fine to me and i cant see the big hoo haw about them.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 14-Jun-13 13:29:02

All through my teens I had periods that made it look like I'd slaughtered a goat after going to the loo. I wouldn't have wanted to be washing the blood off my hands in front of boys.

JambalayaCodfishPie Fri 14-Jun-13 13:31:01

We have these. Miles better, and the kids prefer them.

I appreciate that it seems a strange concept at first, but they got used to it, and pretty quick too.

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