Parents have reacted furiously during a Facebook live poll that asked if children should use public toilets alone, after a man tried to sexually assault a 12-year-old boy in a shopping centre toilet.
Police said that the 46-year-old man allegedly waited inside a cubicle, then pulled the boy in by the waist and hit him over the head in an incident that happened on Saturday at Bass Hill Plaza.
The boy escaped his alleged attacker when two other men entered the toilets and startled the man.
On Sunday, the man handed himself into police after the NSW police released a CCTV of the incident, and has been charged with assault with intent to have sex with a child.
Following the incident, news.com.au launched a Facebook live poll asking if children should be able to use public toilets alone.
An overwhelming number of parents said that they would not let their children use public toilets alone.
However, there are parents who said that their own children, particularly of the opposite gender, did not wish to be accompanied to the toilet by a parent by the time they have reached the age of 12.
“You can’t take a 12-year-old boy into the ladies, people don’t like it. You can’t go into the men’s. So what can you do,” one person asked.
However, others said the safety of their children is their utmost concern.
“I’m sorry I would rather make people feel a little uncomfortable he comes with me in the female toilets while their (sic) are horrible people in this world who try and hurt children!”
Yet, others accused parents of helicopter parenting. “Of course they can go to the bathroom by themselves. As parents we need to teach our children what to do. How do you expect children to learn how to handle situations, if we do not give them the experience to do it?” one said.
There were more than 1,100 angry reactions and just 190 likes from people who joined the Facebook live poll.