Secondary school forces students to use unisex toilets with cameras inside leaving parents outraged
Parents of the children who attend Buckler's Mead Academy located in Yeovil, Somerset, say that the move from the school officials is a 'breach of privacy'
The parents and students of a secondary school in the UK have now branded the school's decision to introduce unisex toilets with CCTV cameras inside as "outrageous". The parents are angered that children, who are of all ages and genders, are now being forced to use the same toilets.
In addition to this, the security cameras have been placed just outside the cubicles in the "communal areas" of the toilets. The students have also claimed that some of the cameras face the cubicle doors.
Parents of the children who attend Buckler's Mead Academy located in Yeovil, Somerset, say that the move from the school officials is a "breach of privacy".
The staff at the school, however, which is rated "good" by Ofsted and attended by children aged between 11 and 16, said that the cameras in the toilets were necessary because of vandalism, the Daily Mail reported.
One furious father has said that four students in the school have already been 'excluded' for reportedly damaging the cameras. The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Four pupils including my son have been excluded. The school believes they broke the cameras. We have been told the cameras have been put into the toilets for safety reasons because there have been fights and graffiti in the toilets. I don’t care what has happened, there should not be cameras in the toilet area."
Another parent whose daughter goes to the school said that the situation was "wrong on so many levels". She added: "I’m absolutely disgusted that CCTV has been put in the toilets. This is a breach of privacy." A former student of the academy said: "It’s outrageous that students don’t get a tiny bit of privacy. A student should be able to answer the call of nature without feeling like he or she is being watched."
Yet another parent, who also wanted to remain anonymous, told local news website Somerset Live that the students were "mad and upset" at the current situation. She said: "The girls are worried about their safety and privacy." Students have also taken to social media to talk about their displeasure. One student claimed that he was excluded from classes because of his posts on Facebook.
The academy has since defended the unisex toilets and have claimed that the same style is currently used by many schools in the country. A spokesperson denied that a student was suspended for posts on social media but did not comment on whether or not the exclusion was related to the cameras in the toilets.
He added: "There has been some social media discussion suggesting we have CCTV which films inside the toilet cubicles. This is not the case – there are cameras in the communal places outside the cubicles in some areas of the academy. This is due to the fact these areas have been used inappropriately by some students in the past. The damage they have caused is unacceptable. These [single-use toilet cubicles] provide maximum privacy for students. They have full-length doors and sides. Most cubicles also have their own private wash-hand basin."