Teachers were forced to set off fire alarms as they tried to stop hundreds of school children from organising “TikTok riots” protesting against the unisex toilets. Around 300 students chanted “toilet rights” over what they saw as unfair rules at the Oasis Academy Mayfield in Southampton.
The students claimed unfair toilet rules stopped girls at the school from leaving lessons to use the loo during their menstrual cycle.
Last week saw a wave of demonstrations in schools throughout Yorkshire, Cornwall and Lincolnshire as pupils expressed their displeasure over a raft of changes to uniform and toilet policies.
A Year 11 student from Oasis Academy Mayfield said: “Unisex toilets make me feel extremely vulnerable and uncomfortable.
“It feels sometimes as if I don’t have as much privacy as I would like due to these toilets. Also, it is really damaging when I am not allowed to go to the toilet while I am on my period.
“It feels as if I have to fight against the teachers for a basic human right and it makes me wonder if our school is truly as progressive as they say they are.”
Another added: “People chanted both ‘toilet rights’ and ‘equal rights’ voicing the fact they generally feel uncomfortable by use of the gender-neutral toilets.
“This was ultimately shut down by the senior leadership team who pulled the fire alarm to remove the students from the building.
“Another protest was planned by students for the next day in the multi-use games area, so there is more space and would be much more carefully arranged in terms of safeguarding.”
In the nearby Weston Secondary school, pupils were seen on the playground saying how “uncomfortable” they felt having to use unisex toilets and rules that only allow them to go at certain times.
Last Friday, another “TikTok riot”was organised at Warriner School to scrap new rules on a “gender neutral” PE kit and a ban on girls wearing skirts.
The school in Banbury Oxfordshire has since backed down, saying it had reversed its decision to enforce a gender-neutral uniform policy.
On the school’s website, Dr Annabel Kay, the executive headteacher, apologised for “underestimating the strength of feeling on this issue” and “not properly engaging or consulting with all parents and students”.