Oh boy! Experts want gender-neutral loos in Aussie schools
EARLY childhood experts want Australian schools to install "gender-neutral" toilets but a Christian lobby group has rejected the suggestion.
Flinders University researchers have pitched the suggestion to the South Australian government, The Australian reports.
The idea is part of a broader plan to ensure children as young as five years old have access to the Safe Schools program.
Safe Schools aims to reduce bullying against gay and transgender young people and is generally presented to students in years seven and eight.
The Flinders Uni academics say Safe Schools could be operating in the early years of primary school.
During a recent study by the uni, picture books featuring transgender characters were read to Prep and Year One students over five sessions.
Study authors Clare Bartholomaeus, Damien Riggs and Yarrow Andrew said their work showed that more diversity resources and other measures,for example gender-neutral toilets and picture books, should be made available to preschool, primary and secondary students to "create inclusive whole school-cultures".
Damian Wyld, from the Christian lobby group Family Voice Australia, rejected the plan as "utterly inappropriate".
"It goes without saying that most five and six year olds haven't even worked out the birds and the bees yet," the national policy officer told The Australian. - ARM NEWSDESK