British high school removes toilet walls, enrages parents

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer file/Asia News Network

A new policy in a school in England has been receiving major backlash from parents - the school officials decided to remove the walls in the girls' restrooms

In the re-design of the restrooms, St. Mary's Catholic College in Wallasey, Merseyside, England had the cubicles exposed to the open corridor and was in near sight of a classroom and a CCTV camera. Officials said that the decision was made to stop bullying, truancy and smoking among its students, The Independent reported.

But some parents feared for their children's safety instead. One concerned parent, Tara Hodgson Jones, shared on her Facebook page images of what the school had done to the restrooms, saying that "this is a disgrace."

Jones told The Independent that her nine-year-old daughter, who goes to the said school, did not feel comfortable with the new layout, adding that her sister and her neighbours are encouraging their children not to attend school in protest.

"Apparently they are starting on the boys' toilets next week, so I'll be keeping my son off too if they do the same," Jones bared. She added that she and other parents are trying to talk to teachers and school officials to address the problem.

"My daughter was bullied in year 10 and that was in the classroom, the yard and the lunch hall, so thinking that taking a toilet wall down will stop it is stupid," Jones expressed her disappointment. "As for smoking, put alarms in. As for skipping class, use frosted glass so teachers can see shapes when they walk past."

Because of the backlash, the school released a statement on Monday. It said that the school will be "making a further modification to the adaptation to introduce a modesty screen within the toilets to address the concerns expressed."