Christian comprehensive school draws flak over £20k gender-neutral toilets

A Christian comprehensive school in Cardiff, Wales, has drawn flak over its newly installed gender-neutral toilets worth 20,000 pounds amid an existing shortage of books and teachers and a controversial debate on the downside of having this kind of facility in a school.

(REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton / File Photo)A Gender Neutral Restroom sign is seen placed outside a restroom for the 15th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 9, 2016.

In Twitter posts, the Bishop of Llandaff Church-in-Wales High School announced that it had opened new gender-neutral toilets that the Daily Mail said had cost 20,000 pounds. However, the comprehensive school's added facilities sparked backlash among those who thought the money could have been put to better use, Standard Media detailed.

"Welcome to our new 'open plan' gender neutral toilet facilities in A block. These are in addition to existing boys/girls toilets," The Bishop of Llandaff said on Twitter. "We intend to upgrade the boys/girls/staff facilities to same standard (remaining separate) over coming 12-18 months. Thanks for support."

Reacting to The Bishop of Llandaff's announcement, David Porter questioned the move and pointed out that there was a shortage in "books, equipment, teachers." He added that he had expected more of the comprehensive school.

Richard Morgan, on the other hand, expressed concern over the teachers' availability and capacity for the "necessary supervision" that would be needed for the new gender-neutral toilets.

In response to the criticisms against The Bishop of Llandaff, head teacher Marc Belli explained that the term "gender neutral" was included in the announcement "for practical reasons." He added that the facilities have not been upgraded in the last several years.

In line with this issue, authorities in Berlin, Germany, announced last month that they were planning to install gender-neutral public toilets to address gender equality problems. A 99-page city strategy paper said male-only urinals should only be present together with unisex toilets, the BBC reported.

As of now, it is still not clear if women are willing to use the planned unisex urinals, as they would likely have to stand while using it. There is also a possibility that the need for screens or separate cubicles for them could arise.