By Jonathon Van Maren
It has happened again, this time at a school in Essex, U.K.: schoolgirls were sexually assaulted in the “gender-neutral” bathrooms; the police have been called; a teenage boy has been arrested after four allegations of “serious sexual assault.”
The boy, unnamed because of his age, is under 16. Three of the four attacks, according to the Telegraph, “took place in lavatories used by boys and girls.” Once again, MPs are coming forward to note that unisex facilities in schools are simply not safe for girls.
As J.K. Rowling stated: “This was entirely foreseeable and preventable. A Sunday Times investigation found 88% of sexual offences committed in changing rooms and public bathrooms take place in those that are unisex. Girls’ safety, privacy and dignity is being sacrificed to an incoherent ideology pushed by lobby groups, which gives predatory males easy access to victims.”
Tory MP Miriam Cates, who is also a former teacher, concurred:
Gender-neutral facilities are a threat to the safety of women and girls because they create a private space hidden from the public view where assaults cannot be witnessed. Whilst, of course, the vast majority of males do not mean females any harm, the few who do will inevitably seek to take advantage of the opportunity that gender-neutral facilities present to commit offences. I very much hope that the new DfE [Department for Education] guidance will make clear that gender-neutral facilities are safeguarding risk and should not be allowed in schools.
Stephanie Davis-Arai of Transgender Trend noted that these facilities come with inherent dangers:
Gender neutral means mixed sex and that immediately means that you are not able to safeguard girls. We need a preventative strategy. It is no good waiting for these assaults to take place and punishing the perpetrator, but the policies that schools are implementing at the moment are the opposite of preventative. Schools need to show that they considered the impact on all people protected by the Equality Act, and if they can’t then that should leave them open to legal challenges by parents.
As the Telegraph reported: “Schools are required to provide separate lavatories for children aged eight and over, but a recent report by the Policy Exchange think tank found that 28 percent were failing to do so. There have been a number of concerns raised about mixed-sex facilities, including after a female pupil was injured in Coventry when a schoolboy kicked open her door in unisex lavatories.”
A spokesperson for the Essex County Council told the Telegraph that they are “working closely with Essex Police and relevant authorities regarding a safeguarding matter at a school in Essex. We are supporting the leadership at the school and will provide additional support to the school community if required. The school has communicated with parents and carers and has offered support.”