Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fury at school plan to force teenagers to share unisex toilets: Girls as young as 11 will use same bathroom facilities as 16-year-old boys

Plans to make teenage boys and girls share school toilets have been condemned by children’s campaigner Esther Rantzen.

The ChildLine founder said the proposal for unisex toilets at a school  in Kent was ‘one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard’.

The move will mean that girls as young as 11 will share the bathroom facilities with 16-year-old boys.

Parents at The Towers School in Ashford, which has 1,400 pupils, believe the plans will remove pupils’ privacy and provide an environment for bullying. And they fear the plans could lead to children having sex in the toilets.

But the school governors have given their backing to the scheme and claim it will cut down on vandalism.

‘These children are at an age when they are extremely self-conscious and aware of their bodies and the changes they experience,’ said Ms Rantzen.

‘It’s an extremely delicate time for them and one would hope that a school would seek to make them as comfortable as possible. This is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard and I suggest the school rethinks its proposal.’

Parent Daniel Gray, 39, said: ‘Many parents are upset that the school has dreamt up these proposals without consulting them. Some girls will be  as young as 11 and experiencing puberty – not something to be shared with teenage boys as old as 16.

‘I think it is a bit much to ask teenagers to be responsible enough to give each other privacy. Girls in particular need privacy and there will be boys calling at them over the cubicle doors.

‘Teenagers are full of hormones and I’m sure this will encourage them to canoodle in the loos – whether it’s heavy petting or worse.’

Designs for two shared toilet areas have been posted on a school noticeboard, one with 11 cubicles for females, ten for males and one for disabled pupils, the other with eight male  toilets and ten female. Both have wash basins in the middle of the room.

A sign underneath the designs reads: ‘These are just to give an idea of the proposed layout for the new unisex toilets. The colours of the cubicles  and hand wash area we propose to have will be much brighter and the whole area more modern looking.’

School governor Simon Petts said the governing body has approved  the idea and is waiting for it to go to a funding committee.

He added: ‘The toilets have been in desperate need of refurbishment for a long time and we decided the best way of reducing vandalism was to make them unisex. I understand parents’ concerns but we have had someone researching child welfare and this has  not raised any red flags.


Pro-life teen defiant after alleged attack by feminist professor

A teenage pro-life demonstrator who claims she was assaulted by a feminist studies professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara during a campus event this month told she is more determined than ever to protest against abortion.

Thrin Short, 16, and her sister Joan, 21, had handed out nearly 1,000 informational pamphlets during a March 4 outreach event organized by the Riverside-based nonprofit Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust before things took an unexpected turn. Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young approached the demonstrators and a group of students who had gathered and she became incensed, according to Thrin Short, eventually snatching a sign the girl was holding and walking off with it.

“Before she grabbed the sign, she was mocking me and talking over me in front of the students, saying that she was twice as old as me and had three degrees, so they should listen to her and not me,” Thrin Short wrote in an email to “Then she started the chant with the students about ‘tear down the sign.’ When that died out, she grabbed the sign.”

With the graphic anti-abortion sign in hand, Miller-Young, whose faculty web page says she specializes in black cultural studies and pornography, then allegedly walked through two campus buildings as Short, her sister and two UCSB students followed closely behind. Short captured much of the incident, which she charged was a "deliberate" provocation by Miller-Young, on a cellphone video later posted to YouTube while her sister called campus police. Miller-Young pushed Short at least three times, the student alleges, as she tried to stop an elevator door from closing as the educator stood inside with her sign, Short said.

“I explained how I had been trying to keep the elevator door open with my foot, because I thought the police would be there any second, and that’s when she pushed and grabbed me,” Short’s email continued. “She then got off the elevator and tried to pull me away from the elevator doors so the others could get away with the sign.”

Short said she suffered minor injuries during the melee — scratches on both wrists — and said campus police are now reviewing the video.

Miller-Young declined to comment when reached by, referring inquiries to her attorney, Catherine Swysen, who did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Several messages seeking comment from UCSB police spokesman Sgt. Rob Romero were also not returned, but school officials acknowledged the incident in a statement.

“The university is aware of the incident and it is being reviewed by the appropriate offices,” spokesman George Foulsham wrote to “It is university policy not to discuss personnel matters.”

Kristina Garza, director of campus outreach for the nonprofit pro-life group, said Miller-Young initially tried to lead a small group of students to protest the anti-abortion advocates before simply grabbing Short’s sign herself.

“We recognize the irony of the incident,” Garza told “The professor is a feminist studies professor and her specialty is pornography, and she did commit an act of violence against another woman. So, the irony there to us is rather great.”

The event took place on the public university's so-called “free speech zone,” Garza said, adding that she was shocked by the level of anger shown by Miller-Young.

“This is one of the most extreme cases of lashing out in anger I’ve ever seen,” she said. “We’ve never seen a professor act so violently toward one of our missionaries or trainees.”

Thrin Short, who wants to see Miller-Young prosecuted for the alleged assault, said she won’t let it keep her from future pro-life events, particularly on college campuses.

“If she isn’t prosecuted, wouldn’t anyone else think they could do the same thing and get away with it? The assault on me was part of the whole package of her deciding that she was above the law and could do whatever she liked to us,” Short’s email continued. “ … Fortunately, in our country, we can speak out against abortion and other evils, and the law protects us. It would be cowardly to back off just because of what this one person did.”


Win, Lose or Draw

Mike Adams

Today, as most of you sit in your offices pretending to work while reading my column (thanks, by the way) I'll be taking the stand in federal court in a First Amendment lawsuit against my employer, UNC-Wilmington. The trial will be over in three days, thus ending a seven-year legal battle with important implications for academic freedom. Some have asked how the outcome of the trial will affect my work in the campus free speech movement. I'm writing this column in response to those inquiries.

There are three possible outcomes to the trial this week in Greenville, NC. We could win, we could lose, or there could be a draw (for example, through the declaration of a mistrial). I want to start by outlining three initiatives I plan to push if we win the trial:

1. Center for Student Rights. The UNC system needs to establish a center for student rights. We have African American Centers to which black students can turn if they feel discriminated against or ostracized because of their race. We have LGBT Centers to which so-called sexual minorities can turn if they feel discriminated against or ostracized because of their sexuality. We need a Center for Student Rights to which students can turn when they are discriminated against because of their beliefs or because of their political associations.

Students also need a place to which they can turn when they are victims of the campus judiciary. Such an office needs to be given investigative authority over the student affairs divisions, which have become increasing hostile towards student rights. Finally, the center needs to be given the authority to make policy reform recommendations to the state legislative and executive branches in North Carolina. Our universities are badly in need of oversight.

2. Religious Liberty Legislation. Last year, I tried to get members of the NC Senate to push a religious liberty bill modeled on one already passed in Ohio. It would have prevented UNC administrators from interfering with the belief requirements for officers and members of religious and all other belief-based student organizations. A version passed in the house but was never signed into law. The matter needs to be addressed again until it becomes binding law applicable to all public colleges and universities in the Tar Heel State.

3. Line Item Veto Bill for Higher Education. North Carolina needs legislation that imposes a definition of "academic" versus "non-academic" program spending in higher education. Furthermore, such legislation must force universities to submit separate academic and non-academic spending budgets. Funding requests for the physics department should not be entangled with funding for the Gay and Lesbian Resource Centers. Finally, line item veto authority should be established so we can defund gay activism without defunding physics (and thus being accused of waging a "war on science").

I want to continue by outlining three initiatives I plan to push if we lose the trial:

1. Center for Student Rights. (Description: same as above).

2. Religious Liberty Legislation. (Description: same as above).

3. Line Item Veto Bill for Higher Education. (Description: same as above).

Finally, I want to conclude by outlining three initiatives I plan to push if there is a draw (such as a mistrial):

1. Center for Student Rights. (Description: same as above).

2. Religious Liberty Legislation. (Description: same as above).

3. Line Item Veto Bill for Higher Education. (Description: same as above).

In short, my goals will be the same regardless of the outcome of the trial. Nonetheless, this promises to be a challenging week. I could use your prayers. My attorneys, David French of the ACLJ and Travis Barham of the ADF would also appreciate your prayers. This thing is much bigger than each of us. We simply cannot do it on our own.


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