HORRIFIED parents have branded a school’s decision to install unisex toilets with CCTV cameras inside the bathroom as “outrageous”.
Pupils of all ages and genders share the toilet blocks at Buckler’s Mead Academy in Yeovil, Somerset.
The school says cameras are necessary because of vandalism in the shared toilets[/caption]
Some students claim security cameras inside the “communal areas” of the bathroom point towards the cubical doors – in what’s been dubbed a “breach of privacy”.
But staff at the school say the cameras are necessary because of vandalism and fighting taking place.
One dad claimed four pupils including his son had been excluded from the school for damaging the cameras.
The father, who did not want to be named, told the Daily Mail: “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.”
I’m absolutely disgusted that CCTV has been put in the toilets. This is a breach of privacy
A mum whose daughter is at the school, attended by children aged 11 to 16, said the decision 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.”
Another parent told Somerset Live that schoolgirls in particular are worried by the move.
They said: “The girls are worried about their safety and privacy.”
The academy – rated good by Ofsted – defended the unisex toilets and claimed the same system is now used by many schools.
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Headteacher Sara Gorrod added that the use of CCTV was appropriate to fight “unacceptable” damage caused by vandals.
She said: “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.”
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