Parents Outraged as School Removes 'Offensive' Walls for Children's Bathroom
Liberal school introduces 'open plan' bathroom policy with cameras pointing at cubicals
A liberal school has caused outrage among parents after it removed the walls for the girl's bathroom, claiming that privacy is "offensive."
Angry parents have kept their children away from the school in protest at the teacher's new "open plan" policy.
St Mary’s College in Wallasey, UK, removed the walls for the girl's bathroom and plans to remove the wall from the boy's block next week.
A privacy row has since erupted between parents and the school after administrators claimed that students feel "unsafe" when other children use bathrooms in private.
Families say the move has had the reverse effect, making their children feel too "scared and unsafe" to attend school.
Footage that has been shared on social media shows that the cubicle doors are now exposed to an open corridor, and are in clear sight of at least one classroom and a CCTV camera that is monitored by school staff.
Tara Hodgson Jones, who has a young son and daughter at the school, saw the bathrooms 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 neighbors 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 told me about it on Thursday but I thought she was making a big deal over nothing until I saw it for myself.
“We tried to talk to my son’s head of year about it but he said he couldn’t comment and that we would have to make an appointment with the head teacher on Monday, which we will be doing.
“I want this resolving – my daughter sits her GCSEs this year so this is an extreme measure on my part.
“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.
“My daughter feels scared and unsafe – it’s shocking.”
St Mary’s College is a voluntarily aided academy for 11 to 19-year-olds, meaning it is not governed by a local authority.
Online, the Catholic school describes its mission as being “inspired by the spirit of Jesus Christ” and that the school is “for the personal development of every member through service to each other”.
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.”
Whereas another took a different viewpoint 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 reportedly 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.”