Following heavy criticism from parents, controversial signs posted at some municipal swimming pools have been taken down.
Officials with the city of London recently posted signs stating that children over three years old are not permitted to go into the opposite gender change room. The signs directed parents to ask a staff member to escort their children to the proper change room if necessary.
By Monday afternoon, Councillor Mo Salih confirmed the posters would be coming down immediately.
The quick action comes after a post on the city’s Aquatic Services Facebook page was flooded with comments from parents arguing they are not comfortable sending their toddlers into a change room with a complete stranger.
Jeremy McCall, a father of two young girls, and one of the founders of Dad Club London shared his concerns with AM980 on Monday’s edition of The Craig Needles Show.
“My kids have no idea what this stuff even means because they are so young,” he said.
“I’ve been taking a four and a two year old everywhere I’ve gone for the last four years and no one’s even batted an eye when all of the sudden i get the ‘daddy, i have to go potty right now’ and we go running into the men’s bathroom.”
In an emailed statement to AM980 on Monday morning, the division manager of aquatics, arenas and attractions, Lynn Loubert wrote that the rule was “based on feedback from our users and their comfort level with these situations.”
Also speaking on The Craig Needles Show on Monday, Mayor Matt Brown said he would look into this further.
“It just doesn’t strike me as reasonable to expect a 3-year-old to go through a [change room] with someone who’s not a family member. So I’m going to look into it today.”
By 1 o’clock Monday afternoon, Salih had posted that the posters are being removed and that they did not reflect city policy.
“The managing director has advised that he is ‘directing staff to remove the existing signage and to revert to the language in the parks and recreation area by-law PR-2 should a parent, caregiver, guardian or caretaker need to access the change rooms with children of the opposite gender younger than 12.'”