More protests erupt at British schools as pupils riot amid claims boys are photographing girls in unisex toilets

28 February 2023, 17:00 | Updated: 1 March 2023, 01:20

Children have been protesting at several schools
Children have been protesting at several schools. Picture: TikTok

By Kit Heren

Protests believed to have been fuelled by TikTok have blown up at British schools, as pupils voice their displeasure at rules, including unisex toilets.

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Children in Southampton, Essex and Blackpool have all launched wild protests and posted footage on the social media platform, after similar demonstrations in Yorkshire, Cornwall and Lincolnshire in recent days.

Videos have circulated of students disrupting school activities over rules they dislike, including toilet and uniform policies.

Students at Weston Secondary School in Southampton protested over rules that mean boys and girls can use the same toilets.

Pupil Cloe, 14, told the Mail Online: "We don't think it's fair, girls in our school are not comfortable. People think it's funny to unlock the doors while you're in there.

The children have been protesting over school rules
The children have been protesting over school rules. Picture: TikTok

"We're trying to tell the teachers that it's just not fair. We've tried to talk to them before we did a protest but they're just ignoring it."

Another 14-year-old added: "We have gone to the headteacher about it before and they just tell you what you want to hear and don't do anything about it.

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"You're also not allowed to leave lessons to go to the toilet which isn't fair on girls who are menstruating.

"If you have a girl emergency you should be allowed to go to the toilet when you need to."

Kids have been demonstrating over several school rules
Kids have been demonstrating over several school rules. Picture: TikTok

The boys have got this thing about putting their phone over the toilet or under the doors to try to get pictures of them.'I am not happy, I don't like the fact my daughter is uncomfortable going to the toilet - she's a child, she's a minor.

"She's not going to the toilet all day while she's at school.

"I have even contacted the school about it but they haven't done anything.

"Why did the school not tell us about it before and get people's opinions before they put something in place?"

Children gathered in a protest
Children gathered in a protest. Picture: TikTok

Meanwhile students at Unity Academy Blackpool protested over school rules that staff said had been in place for years.

Headteacher Stephen Cooke said the demonstrations were fuelled by pupils seeing similar actions at other schools in recent days on social media.

He added: "Student voice is important to the academy and in order to ensure all students had an opportunity to share concerns, form time was extended this morning by ten minutes in order to offer the opportunity for students to share these concerns, which colleagues committed to responding to later on this week."

Mr Cooke added: 'Despite providing opportunities for this morning, a very small number of the school population (less than 5 per cent) chose to take part in a protest by not going to class after the lunch break.

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"The number of students reduced quickly and they were supervised by staff at all times. The 'protest' lasted for around 15 minutes before being brought to a calm conclusion by staff."

Meanwhile students at Shenfield High School in Essex also protested, with footage on social media of exercise books being trampled on the floor and overturned chairs.

These protests come after separate demonstrations in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire last week after pupils were banned from going to the toilet during classes.

A spokesman for the government's department for education said: 'We are concerned at the reports of disruption and will be in touch with all schools and local authorities to ensure they are supported at this time.

"We will always back headteachers to take the action required to maintain calm and supportive classroom environments as they are best placed to work with their teachers, parents, pupils and local communities when developing and implementing policies."