Protests in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire erupt over toilet rules in schools across the UK

  • Police have been called to schools across the UK after protests broke out over the use of toilets during lessons including at Penrice Academy in Cornwall (featuring in the clip above) - [Credit: Cornwall Live]

Protests have erupted at several schools after pupils were banned from going to the toilet during classes.

Separate protests broke out at schools in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

A number of children have been sent home from Penrice Academy in Cornwall after protests broke out over changes to toilet rules.

Pictures and video footage from Penrice Academy in St Austell, Cornwall, showed children climbing fences and chanting.

One parent said: "My daughter has just called me to say the protest has got out of hand and students are flipping tables.

"The children are now not allowed out for break."

Pupils at Penrice Academy, in St Austell, started a riot this morning (24 February) Credit: CornwallLive/BPM

Tables were flipped during a student protest over new toilet rules in a Cornwall academy, according to one of its pupils.

The protest is over new rules which include pupils only going to the bathroom outside of lesson time and girls requesting red card passes when they are on their period.

One student at the academy said he was not involved but witnessed the demonstration.

“A bunch of students were protesting about the new toilet rules that were put in place at my school,” he said.

“It was originally meant to be a peaceful protest but it escalated relatively fast.

“People started like flipping tables and climbing fences.”

He added that “something like” a bin was thrown through a window during the protest as well.

The teenager estimated that 300 students took part and that “quite a number of them” were suspended and sent home.

He said he heard about one injury in which a student fell off a fence while trying to climb it.

It’s understood that the students organised the protest through a series of posts on social media.

In a message to parents, the school said: “Our students have the right to express their opinions in a calm and safe manner, however, a small number of students' behaviour was unacceptable.

"A number of parents have already been contacted to collect their children. For the majority of our students, lessons and lunchtime will continue as normal. If you have not been contacted, there is no need to collect your child.

"We hope to engage with them to find a solution that works for everyone as soon as possible. The safety and wellbeing of our students is always our priority.”

The protest followed the implementation of new rules on Friday that mean students are no longer allowed to go to the toilet during lessons and can only go during break times.

“So we can only really go twice in a day,” the student said.

He thought the new rules “make sense” and could be to do with the fact that toilets at Penrice Academy have been getting vandalised.

The student's father said the school had consulted with parents about the new rules and confirmed that there has been “a lot of abuse of toilets” by students while they have been out of lessons.

He added: “What my son said when he came back from school earlier on is that I think a lot of the students had seen a news report on the day before where some girls had had their skirts measured, the length of skirts, by a male teacher apparently and they saw this as a protest and decided to do something at the school and obviously the new toilet rule came in today and it was based on that I think.”

At the Farnley Academy in Leeds, pupils refused to attend lessons after toilet doors were locked in an effort to "tackle truancy".

School policy has been criticised and parents have claimed the new rules are "taking away the human rights" of pupils at the school.

Pupils who need the toilet have to get a written note from their teachers and then hand it to a member of staff posted outside the toilet.

Students at Haven High academy in Lincolnshire have criticised the "prison rules" at their school which ban them from using the toilet during lessons.

The school has also been accused of locking toilet doors and blocking corridors.

Penrice Academy in St Austell, Cornwall Credit: CornwallLive/BPM

A parent told LincolnshireLive: "For some strange reason the headteacher seems to be throwing prison rules into the school where corridors and toilet blocks are locked during school time.

"If they need the toilet or anything they have to go through this teacher and that teacher, it's just like a prison in there.”

Richmond School in North Yorkshire is reportedly under lockdown, with students letting off fire extinguishers and kicking down doors.

The news comes as pupils at Rainford High School in St Helens, Merseyside have organised protests against the tough restrictions on skirt lengths.

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