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Angus mum slams son’s high school over unisex bathrooms and changing room

Lisa Keogh says the situation at the Angus secondary is "so wrong on so many levels" but was told pupils voted in favour of shared toilets and changing areas.

Lisa Keogh described the school situation as "utterly disgraceful". Image: Supplied
Lisa Keogh described the school situation as "utterly disgraceful". Image: Supplied

An Angus mum says she will fight to have unisex toilets and changing rooms at her son’s high school shut down.

Lisa Keogh has branded the set-up “utterly disgraceful” and claims youngsters of both sexes are being robbed of dignity by the move.

She was told a teacher polices the changing rooms, which have “full height cubicles”, while teenage boys and girls are in them.

The young mum said she was told pupils had voted for the unisex arrangements when she visited to tour the school after her son started first year there.

Angus Council confirmed the gender-neutral loos were the outcome of a pupil/parent consultation which backed the idea- and denies Ms Keogh’s claims the changes force youngsters to use the mixed setup.

In 2022, Lisa was involved in a discrimination row with Abertay University over a discussion around transgender issues, when she was investigated for saying “women have vaginas”.

Discovery during tour of Angus school

“I really don’t know where to start with this – it is just so wrong on so many levels,” said Lisa.

“We stumbled across open-plan unisex bathrooms.

“I asked a few questions about this, more so how young girls are with this set up, seeing there in an inch-thick door giving them minimal privacy.

“This was not a concern of the teacher, he put it to a vote among the children and the majority voted to be more inclusive by having open shared bathrooms.

“I pointed out peer pressure and young teens wouldn’t want to go against their peers and be singled out.”

‘No dignity’

“I have sons, but I just find this utterly disgraceful that young girls are having to use these,” said Lisa.

“There’s no dignity in this for girls who could be starting their period and all of the issues that come with that.

“It is difficult enough being a young girl at that time without coming out of a cubicle and a boy standing there in an area with no privacy.

“It’s absolutely disgusting.”

Unisex toilets
The Angus secondary has unisex toilet provision. Image: Shutterstock

“I then asked about the changing room set up which they effectively call an open changing village.

“The response floored me.

“They said they had a teacher who watches them to make sure nothing bad happens.”

She added: “I was told if I do not change my attitude, then we are going to run into problems.

“So I smiled and told (the teacher) this was a fight I was happy to take head on.

“I will protect my child at all costs from this carry on.

“It is all about protecting my child, and the children of others who are concerned about it.”

Social media reaction

Lisa posted about the issue on X, formerly Twitter, and the thread has has been viewed more than 600,000 times.

She has received hundreds of comments of support.

Lisa continued: “I guarantee the teachers will have single-sex toilets to use.

“The irony of this is that Angus Council put up a social media post around the 16 Days of Action campaign saying women are less likely than men to feel safe alone at night in their local area.

“Yet they think it’s ok to force girls to use the same bathroom as boys in school.”

Council says single sex toilets available

A council spokesperson said: “A consultation was carried out at the school referred to in the social media posts, which involved both pupils and a parent group, the results of which indicated a preference for the provision of gender-neutral toilets.

“Single sex toilets are also available.

“An additional swimming pool changing room was provided at this school two years ago so that pupils and the public did not share facilities.

“This takes the form of individual full height cubicles for individual pupils and an appropriate member of staff maintains a constant presence in the area during changing times.

They added: “Toilet facilities at our newer campuses at Brechin and Forfar have individual male and female toilets, or semi-open plan toilet areas where cubicles are allocated separately for male or female use.

“A similar approach will be in place at the new Monifieth campus, with the addition of further standalone gender-neutral toilets.

“Decisions around the provision of toilet and changing room facilities for our new campuses formed part of the wider consultation and decision-making, as was the case with all recently-built primary schools.

“The remainder of our secondary school estate is served by single sex toilets and changing room facilities.”

Discrimination row

Lisa’s discrimination fight last year came after she was investigated by university bosses for saying “women have vaginas” during an academic discussion.

Lisa’s legal team went to Dundee Sheriff Court to argue the move breached her human rights and the Equality Act 2010.

But a sheriff dismissed her action, saying it had no chance of success.