Madam, – We are writing in response to a story which we were disappointed to see in The Courier “Women’s Campaign group calls for ‘Urgent’ investigation into gender neutral toilets in Tayside schools”, February 12.
We suspect that this is in reality driven by an agenda of opposition to transgender rights hiding behind unsupported allegations of increased sexual harassment.
The facilities that are complained about typically have individual cubicles, ensuring total privacy, and a central area of wash hand basins.
They are actually an enhancement for personal safety, as the handwashing facilities are open to the corridors and public areas so it decreases the amount of loitering and bullying that can take place in traditional single sex, enclosed toilets.
Providing mixed/shared/uni-sex/gender-neutral facilities also removes the discrimination that commonly exists where there are fewer toilet facilities for women and girls. Sexual harassment is of course something that no one wants, and schools should ensure that there are useful and effective safe spaces for girls and women. We should also promote a culture of respect in which there is no toleration of any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying of anyone.
Alison Orr & Gavin McColl (co-conveners, Dundee and Angus branch, Scottish Green Party),
Education cuts will cost us all
Madam, – I’m not losing sleep over parking charges or garden waste collection charges or any of the other ridiculous additional payments that we may soon be making to our local councils.
But like many other proud Scots, I take exception to our Scottish Government depleting what we as a nation have built up in the past – our desire to have a good, thorough education.
Many teachers who have had a lifetime interest in a subject and have risen to be a head of a department are now to be either moved to lesser duties (albeit with a three-year “golden handshake” ) or are to be given authority over several different subjects: some of those might include topics in which they have no genuine interest.
Such amalgamations are nonsense.
I am given to understand that one case currently exists in a secondary school where a principal teacher of physical education is also responsible for overseeing the work of the home economics department.
Might we soon see the woodwork department of a school being placed under the control of an enthusiastic teacher of music all because our SNP Government and local council can’t get the necessary funds together because they’ve frittered them away on less important, so-called “priorities”?
Scotland’s education is being systematically reduced to a pathetic shambles by the very government we elected.
Archibald A Lawrie,
Taxing times for traders
Madam, – At one point in my working life I was director and general manager of a company with around 250 employees.
There were five bases where the company manufactured and distributed soft drink products. Four of these were in Scotland and one on England.
Today I have no idea how I could have made all the senior employees have the same take home pay due to the difference in taxation between the two countries which was exacerbated by the recent Scottish budget.
This, by the way, was total anathema to the Green Party on the day before the budget was to be presented but by some political manoeuvre it became acceptable.
I conclude from this that individual enhancement is more important to the Green Party than their firmly held commitment to do the right thing by the people of Scotland.
A. A. Bullions,
Unionists hitting wrong note
Madam, – There is a first time for everything and as someone who voted for Scottish independence in 2014 this must be the first time I have agreed with Allan Sutherland, (Courier letters, February 14).
Like X Factor, which is deciding to end in the current format, the opposition constantly going to their well of unionist supporters in the hope of sustaining them while doing nothing for those who voted for Scottish independence in 2014 was always going to end in failure.
While not cooperating with the Scottish Government on the budget, constantly going on about stopping Indyref2 and making supporters of independence feel about two inches tall may please their unionist supporters, it is becoming a bit wearisome after five years.
I may not agree with everything the Scottish Government does but the only opposition party worth considering are the Scottish Green Party.
Even the only unionist party I would ever consider voting for, the Scottish Liberal Democrats, have become just like the other two at the moment.
Labour need to look north
Madam, – Is there no limit to the hypocrisy of the Scottish Labour Party?
I have just watched their broadcast criticising the NHS here that failed to mention that things are much worse south of the border. Is this not the party that sat on their hands whilst the Tories imposed the austerity that has caused the underfunding of the NHS?
Is this not the party that wants Westminster to run Scotland in the full knowledge that this will result in the destruction of the NHS?
If they want to support the NHS here, is it not time for them become a real Scottish Labour Party and cease to be the branch office of the London party?
A spot of Brexit bother
Madam, – TV and radio commentators have morphed Brexit into Breg-zit.
Breg to rhyme with Greg and zit as in pimple.
Mispronouncing it doesn’t render it more palatable.