Mayfield Primary School unisex toilets anger parents

Photograph by Ian Georgeson,'Mayfield Primary school, Midlothian.
Photograph by Ian Georgeson,'Mayfield Primary school, Midlothian.

Angry parents have told how children went back to their primary school after the October holidays to find the toilets had been made unisex.

Mothers said daughters, including some who had started their periods, were now embarrassed to use the facilities at Mayfield Primary while boys have been spotted urinating in the sinks.

A mother-of-three from Mayfield who has an eight-year-old daughter at the school said parents only found out on Wednesday when pupils returned from the break.

“She’s totally embarrassed,” said the 32-year-old.

“A lot of the kids were just waiting until they got home because they were too embarrassed to go to the toilet.”

The mum said that nearby Newbattle Community High School already has unisex toilets for its students.

“The kids were off for the break and returned to school and when they were walking home, they said there were boys in the toilet,” she added.

“I was really horrified. My little girl said the boys were carrying on and peeing in the sinks. Girls obviously mature quicker than boys.

“Parents should be told. All the parents are not comfortable with it. They’re not happy about it at all. They think their kids are too young for this.

“It’s been shared on a parents’ group chat which was set up because the school has not been great at communicating.

“There has been a few structural issues with scaffolding up for over a year so the group chat was set-up to discuss issues of the school.

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

“Wee girls shouldn’t be going to school and feeling embarrassed to go to the toilet - it’s hard enough at that age.

“Primary kids are far too young to be exposed to this non-gender stuff - they don’t understand.”

When they contacted the school, angry parents say they were told the move to unisex bathrooms is in line with the rest of Midlothian.

“Parents are all shocked and disgusted with the school and how they’ve handled it with no communication from the school or council,” added the mum.

“They’ve phoned the office and got the same blunt answer.”

Another parent, of a 10-year-old girl at Mayfield, said: “My girl’s just started her period and I can’t send her to school if she’s on her period because she’s too scared.

“I understand about equality and diversity and trying to make it equal for transgender but, I’m sorry, they’re primary school kids.”

A spokeswoman for Midlothian Council said the change was made as “what best meets the needs of the school” during a refurbishment.

She added: “Midlothian Council has not adopted a policy change for putting unisex toilets into primary schools.

“Within Mayfield Primary there are one set of toilets on each floor that consist of floor-to-ceiling cubicles with a standalone shared wash trough.

“This is similar to the set-up in our new secondary schools and ensures privacy and dignity for all children and young people using the facilities.”