Gender-neutral toilets have been banned at all Australian schools following a furious backlash led by parents after a school in Brisbane fitted only unisex toilets at a high school, causing parents to revolt.
Last month, The Australian Department of Education installed only unisex toilets, with the exception of two boy and two girl toilets in their changing facilities, at the Fortitude Valley State Secondary College.
The installation of these toilets sparked a countrywide backlash, with parents from all over the country complaining about the facilities being inappropriate for teenagers.
According to The Sun, one parent said, “We already know some really bad things happen to kids in bathroom areas of schools – bullying, sexting, kids recording on mobiles, these things already go on when they’re just within their own sex, and then you’re adding in an extra element”
The parent added, “Being a teenager is a really big time of change, for boys and for girls, and kids have a right to feel safe.”
Queensland’s Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, overruled The Australian Department of Education’s decision and emphasized the importance of boys and girls having separate restrooms.
Education Minister, Grace Grace, confirmed that all the necessary steps had been taken in order to carry out a reversal of the initial decision.
She said, “This includes a change to make separate, gender-specific toilets for boys and girls available. There are also specific toilets for students with a disability.
“Separate boys and girls change rooms with toilets had already been factored into the design of the school.”
The request to include gender-neutral toilets at Western Australian schools came after a recommendation from Inclusive Education WA to make school facilities more inclusive to trans students.
Many schools in the UK, in particular, have adopted a gender-neutral approach to their toilets.
Several female students avoid school altogether to avoid teasing and harassment from male students at a challenging time in their lives.
Some girls report feeling uncomfortable having to share toilets with boys.
Parents have also vented their frustrations at the recent installations.