Would you let your teenage self be filmed while using a school toilet? That is the question being asked of pupils at Summerhill School in Kingswinford, England after senior teachers decided to install cameras in toilets to combat bullying.
The installation has led to pupils to avoid using the facilities, lest they be recorded spending (at least) a penny. Meanwhile, livid parents have said they are “disgusted” at the surveillance, branding the scheme “wrong,” and wondering who has access to the recordings.
"Following some disappointing behaviour from our students, who were not maintaining our high standards of behaviour whilst in the toilet areas, we took the decision to extend the network of cameras to these areas,” wrote James Bowkett, head teacher at the school.
Pictures of the cameras were shared among the school’s wider community, outraging parents. “My son has come back and said he doesn’t want to go to the toilet. It’s shocking, may have problems going on in the toilets but they can’t do this surely”, one mum posted on Facebook.
"My daughter has now said she is ‘holding it’ and not going to the loo and she's not the only one who has said this...I'm disgusted!" another parent wrote.
Another guardian told the Stourbridge News: "What’s stopping some dodgy person recording inappropriate images of our children!”
Bowkett did stress that the cameras only “allow us to monitor who is entering and leaving the communal toilet areas and I can reassure parents and children that no cameras are directed towards sensitive areas including cubicles or urinals.
“I firmly believe we are not invading any student’s privacy and that all children will now be in an even safer environment due to this installation,” he added.