GIRLS are skipping school because they feel unsafe and ashamed using gender-neutral toilets, it has been claimed.
They are also said to be putting their health at risk because of their worries about sharing the facilities with boys.
Parents and teachers are both said to have expressed their concerns that female pupils have large worries about sharing the toilets with boys, according to the Mail on Sunday.
One particular issue that was raised was that some girls are not going to school during their periods because they fear becoming a victim of “period shame” – where girls were meant to feel embarrassed, usually by boys, for having their period.
Other issues are that some girls are risking picking up an infection because they refuse to urinate all day.
Another is that some females are refusing to drink liquids at school so they do not have to go to the toilet.
There has been a drive recently to design gender-neutral toilets in order to become more inclusive of kids who identify as transgender and want to use the same facilities as the opposite sex.
But now doctors and politicians have called on schools to halt the move as a way of protecting female pupils.
The psychological effects of girls not feeling safe enough to use mixed-sex toilets is also concerning
GP Tessa Katz
GP Tessa Katz highlighted the potential problems girls could have if they held their urine in for long periods of time on a regular basis.
She told the paper: “The psychological effects of girls not feeling safe enough to use mixed-sex toilets is also concerning.”
Parents of pupils at Deanesfield Primary School in South Ruislip, West London launched a petition last month against the introduction of unisex toilets.
One mother, who has daughters aged four and eight at the school, said: “The cubicles were open at the bottom and top so older pupils can easily climb up the toilets and peer over.”
A spokesman for Deanesfield said: “We will continue to support parents with any individual worries or concerns they have.”
Tory MP David Davies, who has backed claims that transgender rights were overriding those of women, said: “If girls are not comfortable sharing toilets with boys then schools should make provision for them, rather than saying girls have got a problem.”
Stephanie Davies-Arai, from the parent campaign group Transgender Trend, said schools were being misinformed by activists that they could be breaking equality laws if they did not make toilets unisex.
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She said there were clear exemptions under the existing equality laws that said it was perfectly legal to have single-sex toilets.
Ant Hautler, the head teacher of Leigh North Street Primary in Southend, Essex, came under fire in May this year after it was alleged he had banned teachers from referring to pupils as “girls and boys”.
The Old Vic theatre in Waterloo, central London, recently axed male and female toilets and made them all gender neutral.
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