The horror of sharing pupil loos

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
What really bothers teachers? Welfare of children? Freedom to teach what they want? The head's habit of sticking scissors in his ear? No, what they really, really mind about is having separate staff loos.

The TES online staffroom has been buzzing with indignant responses to the news that a senior school head is building a central toilet block for the whole school to use, staff and pupils.

All human fears are here: of exposure (camera phones under the cubicle wall), male inadequacy (camera phones around the door to the urinals), accusations of abuse ("this sounds like a major child protection problem"), infection ("so many kids have worms"), and lack of privacy ("where could you run off to and cry?").

One poster has a sound legal argument: the education (school premises) regulations 1999 says that staff must have separate "washrooms" from pupils.

Only a handful out of more than 70 posters sees nothing wrong with sharing loos. "Never heard so many stuck up teachers before," sniffs "Mrs ICT".

"Just be glad that you have a toilet, not a hole in the ground like in some countries."

"You are all victims of southern English society," is the view of "Ludicrous". "Are you saying pupils are perverts and teachers are paedophiles? If not, why don't you seek to educate rather than react to insidious urban myth?" Never mind primal fears and noble instincts, the Diary bows to this forceful posting: "It's a crap idea."

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