It has been claimed that unisex restrooms are more inclusive to transgender children, but students, parents and staff were never consulted, and many have been too embarrassed to complain. Women’s Voices Wales called for the policy to be reviewed.
The group believes that the “safety and dignity” of girls is being ignored by the enforced single-toilet policy.
Girls have been missing school or not going to the toilet during the day because they fear using the same facility as boys. They have complained about sexual harassment and a lack of privacy.
One parent of a secondary school girl told the Daily Express: “She won’t use the toilets and tries to last all day. Boys are always speculating on whether girls are having their periods according to how long they take in the toilet.”
When the mother told the school principle, she was told if her daughter had a problem, she must see the nurse “which my girl thinks will just draw attention to her”.
Campaigner Helen Raynor said: “No pupil should feel they are unable to use the toilet. No child should avoid school, or stop drinking water so they don’t wee.”
But Welsh Government spokesman denied not listening to parents and their children and said that “stakeholders” were consulted “to ensure the school offers facilities that are fit for purpose”.
Local government however could review the findings to see “whether further guidance” was required.
Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Professor Sally Holland, offered little hope that the current single-sex policy would end soon: “The rights children have to safety, protection from harm and privacy belong to children and young people of all genders, including those who identify as transgender.”