Pupils protested as a school put locked metal barriers outside toilets

Dozens of pupils ‘walked out in protest’ after school installed locked metal barriers outside toilets to encourage students to go at ‘regular set times’

  • The barriers appeared at The Discovery Academy, in Bentilee, Staffordshire
  • Gates are said to be locked during lessons and opened at break and lunch times
  • Parents and pupils are set to protest as they are outraged by the barriers 

Dozens of children have ‘walked out’ of school in protest at the installation of locked metal barriers outside toilet to encourage students to go at ‘regular set times’.

The barriers, which are allegedly locked during lessons, have appeared at The Discovery Academy, in Bentilee, Staffordshire, this week.

The gates are then said to be unlocked at break and lunch times. 

Angry parents are now planning to stage a protest outside the school on Monday morning.

One mother says she saw more than 70 pupils leave the school on Thursday –  including her son after she pulled him out of lessons.

Dozens of children have walked out of school following the implementing of the ‘humiliating’ toilet barriers at The Discovery Academy, in Bentilee, Staffordshire

The 30-year-old said: ‘I was flicking through Snapchat when I saw one of the gates. I asked my son, ”Are there gates on the toilets?” He said ”yes”. I phoned the office and asked them about it. 

‘I said ”send my son home now”. They asked me why and I told them ”because I said so, that’s why”. 

The concerned mother added how her son had been denied at his request to use the toilet, despite having a medical pass. 

She added:  ‘The parents are taking a stand against the school. I just hope that they see things from our point of view and cut the ridiculous rules. 

‘The kids are going to rebel even more, the behaviour is going to be worse. If you teach children respect then they give you respect back. Treating them like animals is going to make them bad.’

Parents believe that the barriers have been installed after recent vandalism and concerns that children are going on their phones in the toilets during lessons. 

However, there are also concerns that the move is ‘humiliating’ for girls. 

Another mother said: ‘Girls of a certain age need to use the toilet – sometimes at short notice. It’s hard enough being a girl at that age never mind bleeding through in front of your whole class. I’m not having my daughter humiliated.

Parents were said to have been furious at the installation of the barriers and have decided to protest on Monday

Read More: School barricades toilets with ‘metal gates’ to stop pupils using them

‘With periods young girls don’t know when they are coming. You try to prepare as much as possible but there are still incidents. You can’t prepare for an upset stomach, I think it’s disgusting.’ 

Medical passes are claimed to be available for pupils to use the toilet at any time.

It comes as tensions are already running high at the school after parents were offended by comments regarding make-up made in an assembly earlier this week.

One parent said: ‘A bit of make-up is not affecting their chances. 

‘Covering a spot on your cheek at that age is important to them because they’ve got low self-esteem, but it doesn’t mean they won’t go anywhere in life.’

Alpha Academies Trust (AAT) runs The Discovery Academy. It has not commented on when the barriers are opened and locked and who qualifies for a medical pass.

An AAT spokesperson said: ‘At AAT we have high expectations of learning and clear processes in place to support. We have high standards of uniform ready for the world ahead and have processes in place for those who truant. 

‘We encourage students to go to the toilet at regular set times during the day and support those with medical needs by accessing toilets at any time. 

‘Parental engagement is extremely important to us and we value opportunities to listen to concerns and explain the reasons for our decisions.’

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