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Learn from the US, kids, and resist unisex loos

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Children at a primary school in Scotland returned after half-term to find that the toilets had become unisex. The result was predictable. 

Little boys peed in the sink. Kids were scared to go to the loo. They waited till they got home to go to the toilet. No doubt in the coming weeks some will soil themselves. This is not civilisation. This is Lord of the Flies stuff.

One parent at Mayfield Primary, Midlothian, said: ‘I was really horrified. My little girl said the boys were carrying on and peeing in the sinks.

‘Some of the Primary 7 girls are starting their periods and they have to take sanitary products to the toilet with them.

‘Girls shouldn’t be going to school and feeling embarrassed to go to the toilet – it’s hard enough at that age.’

In America they’ve been there before us. Here is one father writing in the Atlantic earlier this year: ‘Within two years, almost every bathroom in the school, from kindergarten through fifth grade, had become gender-neutral. Where signs had once said boys and girls, they now said students. Kids would be conditioned to the new norm at such a young age that they would become the first cohort in history for whom gender had nothing to do with whether they sat or stood to pee. All that biology entailed – curiosity, fear, shame, aggression, pubescence, the thing between the legs – was erased or wished away.

‘The school didn’t inform parents of this sudden end to an age-old custom, as if there were nothing to discuss. Parents only heard about it when children started arriving home desperate to get to the bathroom after holding it in all day. Girls told their parents mortifying stories of having a boy kick open their stall door. Boys described being afraid to use the urinals.’

Sense ultimately prevailed at this American school, but only after a long fight by the parents and eventually intervention from the Department of Education. Then one bathroom was made gender-neutral.

If only the commonsense solution had been implemented in the first place. Douglas Murray has written in his great book, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity, about how most of us are content to accept moderate accommodations aimed at making everyone feel comfortable. But the trans lobby do not want to stop there. They seem to want to tear us apart. The mystery is why governments are listening. And where are the Scottish Conservatives on this?

A final note from the story from the US. At this school, the kids took over from the adults. ‘Our son reported that his classmates, without any collective decision, had simply gone back to the old system, regardless of the new signage: Boys were using the former boys’ rooms, girls the former girls’ rooms.’ We are born male and female . . .

Parents from the Scottish school can learn from the US experience, and stand together to challenge the school. The Scottish Government’s stated policy is, after all, ‘to ensure children feel happy, safe, included and respected in their learning environment‘.

Parents might point out some basic child psychology to them: that intrusive and insensitive ‘gender’ statements are the last way to go about achieving this. To the school they should say that the quicker boys’ and girls’ toilets are reinstated, the quicker will decency, respectfulness and humanity be restored to the school and confidence to their children.

Some simple, immovable A4 Girl and Boy notices stuck to the toilet doors, with one left Unisex, should suffice. They could do it themselves.

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Caroline ffiske
Caroline ffiske
Caroline ffiske is a former adviser to the New Zealand Government, served two terms as a Conservative councillor in Hammersmith & Fulham and is currently a full-time mother. She tweets as @carolinefff

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