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ANGRY parents have blasted a secondary school after it set up CCTV cameras in the student toilets.
Andy Black, who has a 14-year-old daughter at Framwellgate School in Durham, blasted the move and called for the cameras to be removed.
Headteacher Andy Byers though has defended the move, saying they were installed to prevent bullying and vandalism and claimed they did not breach anyone’s privacy because they are placed outside the cubicles.
Mr Black said his daughter had been left “mortified” saying he feared she would avoid using the toilets at school if the cameras were not taken down.
He also was concerned about who would be monitoring the footage and just how secure it was.
Speaking to The Northern Echo, he said: "It’s a violation of privacy for the children. We were not consulted.
"My daughter is 14. and she is mortified at the thought that the school is monitoring her behaviour in the bathrooms.
"She said she just won’t go to the toilets at school at all and wait until she returns home."
He said he had written to the school saying it had no permission to film his daughter.
Defending the school’s actions, Mr Byers said in a statement to The Sun Online: " The majority of new school buildings are now designed so that cublicle doors open onto corridors and washbasins are placed in public view with CCTV coverage.
"Our old school buildings are not like this and our toilets are housed in more traditional rooms.
“We have spent the summer refurbshing the toilets to a high spec.
“School toilets are one of the only areas of a school where staff will rarely go and this makes them vulnerable to vandalism and students vulnerable to bullying.
“Our toilets have been damaged over a number of years and many of our students have told us that they don't like using them or don't feel as safe as they do in the rest of the school.
“Our decision to use CCTV to monitor the washbasin areas – only – will help us to keep students safe and is a practice which is replicated in hundreds of new school buildings across the country.
“It should be stating the obvious in a school which places safeguarding and child protection above all else, to state that the cubicles themselves and changing areas remain completely private."
Mr Byers added that in the boys’ toilets the urinals had been taken out and replaced with cubicles to give them “extra privacy”.
He also claimed the CCTV footage would not be routinely monitored and would not be stored unless there was a problem and in that scenario the school would inform the parents.
In November last year a dad was outraged after he discovered Coundon Court Secondary School, Coventry, which his son attends, had installed CCTV cameras over the boys’ urinals.
The parent said his son was too “terrified” to use the school’s toilets.
Parents were also horrified in October 2019 when the discovered hidden cameras had been in place for five years in the toilets at a Duncombe Primary School in North London.
Alarmed parents also expressed outrage in March 2019 when Park Lane Academy, in Siddal, installed cameras in the students’ toilets saying it protected their well-being.
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