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  • Writer's pictureanonymous woman

I know of three Victorian schools all in metropolitan Melbourne which have felt mislead and or tricked by the Victorian School Building Authority's project management team into building "gender neutral" i.e. mixed-sex toilets. Each of these three schools - in two different school regions - have been told that they must install gender neutral toilets as part of the school upgrades (of varying sizes and budgets), and then told that when they get their certificate of occupancy they can revert to single-sex toilet provision in consultation with the school community. Three different leading teachers and or principals at these three schools have been sold the same line by the VSBA bureaucrats that they are required to install gender-neutral toilets so that the girls and boys and gender-neutral or trans-identififed children will be in adjoining cubicles with a common wash basin area. Two of the principals at schools in the same region conferred notes about the department's tactics in requiring them to install these unpopular toilets in their multi-cultural communities. These principals told the VSBA that Muslim girls could not go to the toilet at school if only mixed-sex toilets were provided and the VSBA both times pretended to have not previously heard this risk being identified, or to know about the discriminatory conduct being recommended by them. Fortunately for these two canny principles they cross-briefed one another and were able to convert the "gender neutral" toilets back into single-sex toilets as soon as they received the certificate of occupancy and before children returned to the upgraded area of the school. Anyone with any common sense or understanding of the difficulties of going through puberty would underestand that girls and boys need their privacy and dignity and safety from one another. If the VSBA want to fund gender-neutral toilet provision for students who are uncomfortable with their biological sex then they need to be additional to the existing provisions.


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