Call for probe into gender neutral school loos after girl ‘attacked’

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The alleged attack of a 13-year-old girl is said to have taken place in a gender-neutral toilet at her school. The youngster was reportedly left with bruises after a boy tried to force his way into a cubicle with the door, hitting her in the head during the scuffle.

The alleged victim has said girls at Caludon Castle School in Coventry, West Midlands, have to hold loo doors shut because locks have been kicked off by some boys at the 11-18 comprehensive.

Campaign group, Safe Schools Alliance UK, said children are entitled to “the privacy, dignity and safety of single-sex facilities”.

A spokesman added: “The lack of safeguarding is simply disgusting.

“Once again a public inquiry is needed into how safeguarding has been undermined in some schools.”

The girl told MailOnline: “I was embarrassed because I was with all my friends.

“All my mates were telling him to stop. I was holding the door closed, but a group of boys kept trying to force their way in. It’s just scary.

“The toilets are open to everyone. The cubicles have doors, but the actual toilets don’t.

“I don’t have any privacy because everything is heard by everyone.”

The girl was taken to hospital after the alleged assault on February 28, Coventry Live reports.

Mum, Gemma Brennan, 40, said: “I’m absolutely horrified. When I saw her cut, I couldn’t believe it. But I knew what it was straight away because I’ve been emailing the school about the toilet issue, saying the locks are broken and that the girls can’t go to the toilet in privacy.

“Neither can the boys. Girls and boys need separate toilets – it is infuriating. I fear for her safety every single day. It will get worse and it will happen again. I dread the worst.”

She also claimed her daughter has been disciplined for using the toilets during quieter periods during the day.

Ms Brennan told Coventry Live: “What my daughter is doing is she is waiting until it is nearly lesson time to go to the toilet so there are no boys there, and she goes to the lessons late and then gets a detention for it.”

Caludon Castle School maintains its unisex toilets are supervised at break time and have locks.

The school said it would consult students and a parents forum in order to understand the concerns.

A spokesperson for the school said: “The safety and well-being of our students is the school’s number one priority and we are extremely concerned by… [the] incident. This behaviour is extremely rare in our school.

“There are two sets of unisex toilets in the school and the others are single-sex. The unisex toilets are supervised at break and lunchtimes.”

They added: “All of the unisex toilets have a lock on them and each of the doors are floor to ceiling in height to ensure privacy.

“The hand washing area is open plan to ensure easy supervision.

“The student responsible for this incident has been sanctioned and we have been in regular contact with the parent of the injured student, who has told us she is happy with the actions we have taken.”

Campaigners have called for a crackdown on the number of same-sex school loos .

Sir John Hayes, who chairs the Common Sense Group of MPs, called for schools to drop “liberal claptrap” and recognise that girls and boys need privacy, calling it “preposterous” that the girl apparently couldn’t use a toilet safely.


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