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Interesting school toilets story

(130 Posts)
FlorenceLyons Tue 20-Mar-18 10:42:14

Interesting on a number of levels, I think. The school had originally said a transgender child (a boy identifying as a girl) couldn't use the girls' toilets 'out of respect' - presumably for the girls.

An organisation called Transpire then got involved. Their spokesperson is quoted as saying "I find it quite amazing some schools are branding it respect when in fact it is segregation ... It's about giving people the opportunity to use the toilet they are comfortable with, not what the school is comfortable with."

The school capitulated, with the head saying "because of what the school stands for and the rights written into equality law, the school made the decision to allow transgender students to use a toilet that matches their identified gender".

This begs so many questions, doesn't it? Why is 'respect' being posited as the opposite of 'segregation'? Surely segregation by sex is partly about respecting the needs of people, particularly women, to single-sex spaces? Why does the comfort of one child trump the comfort of many children? And why is equality law being used to justify this, when we know it says no such thing?

TheGoldenBough Tue 20-Mar-18 10:47:07

Did they say anything about respecting the girls who don't want a boy in their toilets?

What is being done to respect them and their privacy and dignity?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 20-Mar-18 10:50:31

Transpire said schools need to make sure no pupils are made to feel alone

Not even in the toilets?

Someone should send them the Transgender Trend guidance...

Ellenripleysalienbaby Tue 20-Mar-18 10:57:32

So this is Gina Denham, the founder of 'Transpire'.

Gina thinks that teenage girls wanting privacy and dignity away from male bodied people in the toilets is 'segregation' and is wrong. Gina doesn't appear to have any concern about whether or not teenage girls are comfortable with sharing that sort of a space with a boy.

Childrenofthestones Tue 20-Mar-18 10:58:06

"Did they say anything about respecting the girls who don't want a boy in their toilets?"

Not a million miles from the NHS telling staff not to refer to pregnant women as mothers.
Never thinking to ask the millions of women that look forward to being mothers if losing the right to be called that was ok with them.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Tue 20-Mar-18 11:03:24

I talked to a teenage girl earlier this year whose school had switched to gender neutral toilets and she described how younger girls in particular were in tears at the loss of their privacy and the leering behaviour of some boys in the loos. Why does one person’s demand override everyone else’s? Is it because they are girls their needs get ignored?

restingbemusedface Tue 20-Mar-18 11:04:23

Why does the respect for the boy wanting to use the girls toilets outweigh the respect of the girls who don’t feel comfortable with boys in their toilet? Why?! It’s so wrong it’s laughable!!

Collidascope Tue 20-Mar-18 11:10:07

Gina thinks that teenage girls wanting privacy and dignity away from male bodied people in the toilets is 'segregation' and is wrong.

I would understand this more if there was a movement to get rid of sex-segregated spaces altogether on the grounds that NAMALT and we shouldn't be judging a majority by a minority or whatever. (Wouldn't agree with it by any stretch but would find it more consistent.) But it never is. It's always about keeping sex-segregated areas and just letting in any men and boys who want access.

MrsWooster Tue 20-Mar-18 11:11:03

Boys toilets, giving boys privacy and respect; girls toilets, giving girls the right to respect and privacy; gender neutral toilet(s) giving children identifying as another gender for now safety and privacy. Do NOT sacrifice girls' / one set of rights in favour of anothers. If it is inconvenient or expensive, tough luck spend some of the money taken away from children's mental health services and you'll save in the long term

DancesWithOtters Tue 20-Mar-18 11:13:03

@Childrenofthestones What are pregnant women supposed to be called?

rowdywoman1 Tue 20-Mar-18 11:13:12

Interesting that the Head talks about 'rights written into Equality Law' - that will be the transactivist's interpretation as opposed to the actual law which allows for the provision of sex segregated spaces!

This is everything about the demands for the child to be 'validated' by access to the girl's toilets and nothing to do with the needs and rights of girls. Every time transactivists wade into these issues, girls lose out and schools get pushed into the headlines.

The Head needs a read of this:

NoSquirrels Tue 20-Mar-18 11:17:07

because of what the school stands for and the rights written into equality law

They have misunderstood the law.

Facilities for girls. Facilities for boys. Unisex facilities. Job done.

Also for school sleepover trips, girl guiding, etc.

Trans need to campaign for their own spaces.

Lovelyusername Tue 20-Mar-18 11:17:32

What to do? Mail the headmaster and ask if he has consulted with some actual girls, or just the ones with penises?

Childrenofthestones Tue 20-Mar-18 11:20:49

DancesWithOtters. Said -
"@Childrenofthestones What are pregnant women supposed to be called?"

"The British Medical Association has said pregnant women should not be called "expectant mothers" as it could offend transgender people.
Instead, they should call them "pregnant people" so as not to upset intersex and transgender men, the union has said. "

MaverickSnoopy Tue 20-Mar-18 11:33:01

All of these people getting upset really need to grow a pair.

How can one group of people's rights be more important than another. It beggars belief.

missyB1 Tue 20-Mar-18 11:36:38

“Pregnant people”???? But men can’t be pregnant!

nocoolnamesleft Tue 20-Mar-18 11:36:51

The problem is that they already have grown a pair. If they didn't, they'd be in the girls toilets from the start...

TheXXFactor Tue 20-Mar-18 11:43:39

But men can’t be pregnant!

I can tell you're not on Twitter wink

GenderApostate Tue 20-Mar-18 11:55:03

I can’t see the Association of Radical Midwives going along with that .

Elendon Tue 20-Mar-18 12:11:26

Do they have any muslim, jew or christian girl students? Also women are protected under the equality act as well, girls are seen as women, so if a girls who doesn't feel comfortable with this then that also should be taken into consideration.

I also feel that is against safeguarding rules and I'm surprised the head teacher came to the conclusion they did. The head teacher has to make the decision not only based on the equality act but also the safe guarding measures that all schools must adopt.

Safe guarding would include a child who is not able to go to the toilet because they feel uncomfortable doing so. It is essential to ensure the physical and emotional well being of the child and to establish that they not feel coerced into using the toilet if they are not comfortable doing so.

I had to have a discussion with the school regarding my son's non attendance in the toilets. They did say they were obliged under safe guarding rules to inform me. (It was a non trans issue and we were satisfied with the outcome)

Fekko Tue 20-Mar-18 12:16:17

Why can't the student on question use the teachers loo?

That's what a friend of mine did when she was at a boys school (not a gender thing), and another when he had to do classes at the girls school next door (again not a gender thing).

Why is the 'rights' and 'dignity' of one standout student override those of half of the school population?

greenyblue Tue 20-Mar-18 12:27:17

Gina thinks that teenage girls wanting privacy and dignity away from male bodied people in the toilets is 'segregation' and is wrong.

Gina's entitled to an opinion but she's never been a teenage girl. angry

Datun Tue 20-Mar-18 12:32:36

It's yey more skewing of the equality law by transactivists.

One protected characteristic does not trump the other. They are equal, unless it's unfair.

And in this case there are more girls disadvantaged than one boy. So it's unfair.

Equality law be invoked in favour of the girls.

Speedy85 Tue 20-Mar-18 12:43:11

From the article:
"It's about giving people the opportunity to use the toilet they are comfortable with, not what the school is comfortable with."

Obviously it doesn’t matter what the female students are comfortable with...

MsBeaujangles Tue 20-Mar-18 12:47:38

Datun is right.
They have same sex loos, presumably because they think this segregation is warranted.
They are right in considering their policies and practice in relation to the safety, privacy and dignity of 'gender reassigned' children.
If having explored this, they want to amend existing policy/practice they need to assess the impact on all those with protected characteristics (including sex).
If they undertake a proper impact assessment they should consider:
1) Getting rid of same sex loos
2) Allowing children for whom the protected characteristic 'gender reassignment' applies in to the loos of their choice
3) Provide loos for those for whom the protected characteristic 'gender reassignment' applies and designate same sex loos for same sex children only.
What they need to do is to make sure the safety, dignity and privacy of everyone is upheld.
As Datun said, there is lots of sewing of the law!

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