JK Rowling says gender neutral toilets are “sacrificing” girls’ dignity and privacy for trans ideology after a school in Essex was forced to call in the police.
After revelations by The Telegraph that a teenage boy had been arrested over allegations of serious sexual assaults in mixed-sex lavatories, the author and campaigner said that such attacks were “entirely foreseeable and preventable”.
“Girls’ safety, privacy and dignity is being sacrificed to an incoherent ideology pushed by lobby groups, which gives predatory males easy access to victims,” Ms Rowling said.
Her comments came after Essex police were called in to investigate four allegations of serious sexual assault at a local school. It is understood that three of the attacks allegedly took place in toilets shared by boys and girls.
A boy under the age of 16 has been arrested and bailed as police conduct further inquiries.
Campaigners and MPs have warned that mixed-sex toilets are a “safeguarding risk” and called for the Department of Education to protect single-sex spaces in its imminent transgender guidance for schools.
Ms Rowling pointed to research from 2018 which found that 90 per cent of attacks in swimming pools and sports-centre changing rooms happen in unisex facilities.
Her comments were echoed by James Esses, a co-founder of campaign group Thoughtful Therapists, who said: “This is what we warned would happen. This madness must end. Now.”
The revelations come just days before the Government is expected to release guidance which is expected to say that students should not be allowed to use facilities designed for the opposite sex. The advice it will give on mixed sex toilets remains unclear.
The school, which is not being named by The Telegraph to protect the identity of the victims, had not carried out an impact assessment on the provision of gender-neutral toilets and they are not legally required to do so.
The Essex secondary does not have a written policy on the issue and could not answer questions about whether their single-sex toilets and changing rooms could be accessed on the basis of biological sex or gender identity.
It has a number of boys toilets and girls’ toilets and one set of cubicles in an “open suite” that are not designated and can be used by either sex.
These have always been gender-neutral facilities, but new signs were put on them earlier this year, sources said.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We are currently investigating reports of serious sexual assaults, which are believed to have occurred at a school in Essex. A boy, under the age of 16 has been arrested and since been bailed with conditions.
“We are working closely with the school and local authorities whilst enquiries for this investigation continue”
An Essex County Council spokesman said that they are “working closely with Essex Police and relevant authorities regarding a safeguarding matter at a school in Essex”.
“We are supporting the leadership at the school and will provide additional support to the school community if required,” they said. “The school has communicated with parents and carers and has offered support.
“Due to the ongoing police investigation the school is unable to comment on specifics around what they are doing in response to the allegations.
“However, the school takes all allegations extremely seriously and will always review policies and safeguarding procedures following safeguarding matters such as this.”