Violent protests break out at schools in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire after TikTok trend

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A TikTok trend is causing chaos at schools as protests broke out over rules banning pupils going to the toilet during class, girls having to show a ‘red card’ when on their period and skirt-measuring.

In a letter to parents, one headteacher said pupils had ‘decided to imitate a trend relating to school protests’ on social media and that similar protests were taking place at ‘numerous schools throughout the country’. 

Penrice Academy in St Austell, Cornwall, told parents that ‘due to a social media post yesterday evening, some of our students took the decision to protest’. 

Protests took place at schools in Cornwall, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Essex with videos of furious children rebelling being shared on social media.

Meanwhile, others commented on TikTok videos asking how they could stage a protest at their school, with one saying: ‘I’m a year seven but want to start a protest for the same reasons…how do I start it’.

Violent protests break out at schools in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire after TikTok trend

Messages on TIkTok show pupils asking how they could replicate a protest at their school

Messages on TIkTok show pupils asking how they could replicate a protest at their school

Students at Penrice Academy, St Austell, are reportedly 'throwing tables' and 'breaking fences' as they dispute the changes

Students at Penrice Academy, St Austell, are reportedly ‘throwing tables’ and ‘breaking fences’ as they dispute the changes

Pupils at the Farnley Academy, Leeds, were seen protesting outside the school this morning

They were joined by 'disgusted' parents who claimed the policy had 'taken away their human rights'

Pupils at the Farnley Academy, Leeds, were seen standing outside the school this morning with ‘disgusted’ parents who claimed the policy had ‘taken away their human rights’

Crowded school halls at Haven High Academy in Lincolnshire yesterday afternoon in video captured on TikTok

Crowded school halls at Haven High Academy in Lincolnshire yesterday afternoon in video captured on TikTok

Parents at Rainford High School in St Helens, Merseyside, claimed girls whose skirts were deemed too short were made to queue up and asked to adjust their skirts by teachers

Parents at Rainford High School in St Helens, Merseyside, claimed girls whose skirts were deemed too short were made to queue up and asked to adjust their skirts by teachers

At Penrice Academy, students reportedly ‘flipped tables’ and broke fences over rule changes which also forced girls to show a ‘red card’ when they are on their period.

Pupils at the Farnley Academy, Leeds, were seen standing outside the school gates as parents claimed a policy stating children must get a written note to use the toilet during class ‘had taken away their human rights’ 

Similar scenes were found at Haven High Academy, Boston, yesterday with one parent comparing its new policy which locked toilets and corridors during lessons to ‘prison rules’.

It comes after students yesterday protested at Rainford High in St. Helens, Merseyside over male teachers measuring the length of girls’ skirts. 

READ MORE: Schoolgirls are left in tears after being ordered to stand in line as ‘male teachers inspected the length of their skirts to make sure they are not too short’

A video taken at Penrice Academy showed pupils shaking the fence while chanting and shouting, as one parent claimed a girl had been injured during the protest.

Speaking to Cornwall Live, the mother 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.’

Another parent said: ‘Since the red pass scheme was announced and reported about in the press, the school has issued no official statements to parents or children about the news coverage, has not responded to emails sent by parents asking about the toilet passes, and has not changed their policy.

‘They are just not listening to parents or children – and unfortunately the kids are taking things into their own hands today.’

There were similar scenes of outrage at Farnley Academy in Leeds.

A video showed furious pupils demonstrating against a new policy of toilet doors being locked during lesson time. 

Parent Natalie Hennessy, who has a son in Year 9, told Leeds Live: ‘My son, who is a high achiever, is so fed up of the way he’s being treated. 

‘He says he feels manipulated all the time and the school is like a prison. I feel disgusted. 

‘The amount of times I’ve contacted the school and it’s falling on deaf ears. They’re taking away their human rights.’

Farnley Academy’s statement for parents

We are aware that some comments are being made in respect of toilets and their availability during the school day.

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To keep all students safe during times when members of staff are not on duty, we have asked that the only toilets that are used by students during lesson time are the Bronte Toilets.

These toilets are OPEN during ALL lesson times and a member of staff is present. During break and lunch, students are then able to use all of the toilets in school.

We actively encourage all students to ensure that they go to the toilet before school, at break and at lunch, to avoid needing to go during precious lesson time, however, the option remains where it is needed.

Furious parents expressed their outrage over the school policy on social media.

One mother said Farnley Academy called her four times about picking up her daughter after her ‘behaviour was out of control’ at the protests today, but she was unable to pick her up as she was at work.

Mother Helen Walker said: ‘Well my daughter’s been excluded for going to toilet yesterday without having a note and she was really desperate.’

‘This is beyond a joke,’ she said. ‘Why are they treating our kids unfair[ly] like this?’

And another parent went on: ‘Why is our children been treated like they are in a prison of war camp.

‘This is not how our children should be treated if they need toilet let then go it’s not a crime and to limit them with toilet roll is totally unacceptable in all the ways.’

A spokesperson for The Farnley Academy, writing on Facebook, confirmed students had been asked to use the centrally located toilets during lesson times.

But they added that these bathrooms always remained available to children if they needed to use the toilet and were being marshalled by teachers to keep them safe.

Videos of pupils demonstrating outside Haven High Academy, in Boston, Lincolnshire, over similar toilet use rules also appeared on TikTok yesterday. 

Dozens of pupils were also seen protesting outside Haven High Academy, Lincolnshire, with one parent comparing its new policy to 'prison rules'

Pupils protesting at Haven High in Lincolnshire

Dozens of pupils were also seen protesting outside Haven High Academy, Lincolnshire, with one parent comparing its new policy to ‘prison rules’

Pupils marching through the school hallways in Haven High Academy, Lincolnshire

Pupils marching through the school hallways in Haven High Academy, Lincolnshire

Full letter from Penrice Academy to parents and carers

Dear Parent/Carer

Due to a social media post yesterday evening, some of our students took the decision to protest.

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 lunch time 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.

Kind Regards

Penrice Academy

One parent claimed the school’s headteacher was introducing ‘prison rules’ for the pupils and claimed corridors and toilets were being locked during lesson time.

In a letter to parents and carers yesterday, Haven High headteacher Stuart Rees wrote: ‘As you may be aware, a small group of students decided to imitate a trend relating to school protests that has been trending on Tik Tok within school today.

‘Such school protests have happened in numerous schools throughout the country and unfortunately a number of students decided to engage in a protest relating to certain school rules.’

He said a small number of pupils took the ‘opportunity to misbehave’ and said the behaviour was ‘unacceptable’, LincolnshireLive reports.

He said that any pupil that does not attend lessons or refuses to comply with ‘reasonable requests from staff’ will have their parent/carer called and be ‘issued with an appropriate sanction’.

Meanwhile students in Essex also protested after finding their toilets locked by gates during lesson times.

One parent to two daughters who attend Castle View School in Canvey Island, Essex, said one had been denied use of a bathroom during lesson time despite being on her period.

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She said her other daughter who suffers from an incurable autoimmune condition affecting the bowels, was also denied access.

The concerned parent said today (Feb 24): ‘Castle View students are currently protesting their toilets being taken away.

‘My youngest menstruating girl was forbidden from using the loo to check if she had leaked!

‘My coeliac daughter has not been issued a pass.

‘They aren’t issuing the passes and there are long queues to use the toilets at break times which means kids can’t get lunch and use the loo in the same allocated time.’

Videos shot at the school show chaotic scenes with children gathered in a field chanting ‘free our bladders because we matter’.

Another shows students filing out of classrooms into the halls and gathering in the corridors en masse.

A 14-year-old male student at the school, who did not want to be named, reported that ‘kids are hitting kids and a teacher did lock us outside.’

Gates across the toilets at Castle View School in Canvey, Essex

Gates across the toilets at Castle View School in Canvey, Essex

He added: ‘The Castle View students are protesting the toilets. People are getting hit. It’s so bad. Kid’s got hit and it got manic.

‘The protest is over now but for most of the day kids were protesting.

‘We are children, we don’t need to be locked up.

‘It shows an extreme lack of trust, which is understandable as we are kids, but the level they are going at is getting out of control.

‘We understand why it was put in place to stop vaping and because of safeguarding issues.

‘But if you want to stop that then put smoke detectors closer and use thermal cameras like other schools are.’

Castle View School headteacher Steve Durkin said: ‘Pupils are able to access all toilets before school, break times, and after school.

‘If a pupil requires access to the toilet during lesson time, they request a pass from their teacher and are allowed access.’

Parents have slammed a secondary schools decision to barricade toilets during lesson time

Parents have slammed a secondary schools decision to barricade toilets during lesson time

Penrice Academy have now sent a letter to parents and carers saying that a ‘small number of students’ behaviour was unacceptable’.

The letter said that students decided to protest ‘due to a social media post yesterday evening’.

They added that several parents had been contacted to collect their children and that for most pupils, lessons and lunch time will ‘continue as normal’.

The academy also said they want to ‘engage’ with pupils to ‘find a solution that works for everyone as soon as possible’. 

Farnley Academy and Haven High Academy have been approached for comment.

Devon and Cornwall Police said: ‘Police are aware of a protest at the academy, but have not been called or asked to attend’.

West Yorkshire Police and Lincolnshire Police have been approached for comment.

It comes after Rainford High School in St Helens, Merseyside, sparked fury from pupils and parents over a uniform policy which states skirts must be knee length – with the risk of detention or suspension for failure to adhere to the rules.

Boys wore skirts in protests of the rules at the school in support of their fellow pupils. 

One woman told the Liverpool Echo her ‘granddaughter came home mortified that her skirt height was inspected by a male teacher in front of male pupils’.

A parent claimed some pupils had been left ‘crying and embarrassed’ as a petition was started titled ‘Stop Rainford High controlling girls skirts.’

Pupils outside school in Lincolnshire during protests today

Pupils outside school in Lincolnshire during protests today

Pupils outside school in Lincolnshire during protests today

Rainford High School in St Helens, Merseyside, said they had been 'concerned about the failure of a significant number of students to wear the skirt to the standards and expectations laid down in the uniform policy'

Rainford High School in St Helens, Merseyside, said they had been ‘concerned about the failure of a significant number of students to wear the skirt to the standards and expectations laid down in the uniform policy’

Boys wearing school skirts during the protests at Rainford High School

Boys wearing school skirts during the protests at Rainford High School

One woman told the Liverpool Echo her ‘granddaughter came home mortified that her skirt height was inspected by a male teacher in front of male pupils’.

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Another told the St Helens Star: ‘My daughter stated that they are asked to adjust their skirt and if they say no or cannot then parents are contacted and told their child must come in the following day in a longer skirt or they will be given a detention.’

Ian Young, principal of Rainford High in St. Helens, Merseyside, said: ‘Like many schools, we have a clear uniform policy in place and understand there are often sensitivities around this matter.

‘Student voice is important in all aspects of school life, and we have been keen to find an acceptable viewpoint on uniform from all members of our school community.

‘Work has been, and is continuing to be, undertaken with our young people by consulting student leadership teams to find an agreeable solution for both staff and students.

‘Our focus is for all our young people to exemplify and learn the importance of high standards and expectations, so they are ready to contribute to the wider community as successfully as possible.’ 

He added: ‘One block of toilets is currently closed for essential repairs as we wait for the scheduled works to take place   

‘In total, Rainford High has five toilet blocks as well as seven disabled toilets, available for students. These toilets are open and available to use at all times throughout the school day.’

Pupils stage protest at Banbury school after were girls banned from wearing skirts

The Warriner School, a co-ed secondary with 1,500 pupils aged 11 to 18 in Banbury, has been forced to close today after angry protests from parents and a mutiny by students over a ban on girls wearing skirts and a ‘gender neutral’ PE kit led to police being called.

The school, founded in 1971, decided to close and sent out an urgent message for parents to collect their children after being advised by the police about concerns for the safety of the ‘school community’.

The closure comes after many of the students were involved in protests within the school’s premises this morning over the school’s decision to place an outright ban on girls wearing skirts from September.

A number of upset parents have taken to social media over the school’s handling of the situation, claiming the lack of communication or consultation has left them feeling that their children are being punished incorrectly.

One parent who wished to remain anonymous said ‘The girls are getting the message that this is your fault because of how you dress, they are learning what it’s like to face blame over appearance. Let’s not stand by and let them accept this!’

Another parent likened the initial letter sent to parents about the uniform change as something from the women’s suffragettes’ movement.

‘You send out this nonsense message that women yet again have to conform to a man’s world, women again are coming second to men.’

Parents received a letter yesterday informing them of updates to the uniform policy, which include an outright ban on girls wearing skirts and a gender-neutral physical education kit.

Student upset over the decision said they had arranged ‘peaceful protests’ within the school grounds and would refuse to attend classes. Police were called to the school as parents said they were ‘backing’ their children.

One pupil told the local paper, the Banbury Guardian: ‘If teachers can strike over their principles, so can we.’

The school has stated the reason behind the decision was to ‘promote inclusivity and further support and empower our students with our values of equality and respect’.

Upset parents have claimed the change in uniform will punish girls at the school for the actions of a minority. They have also argued that the changes are an expense that parents do not need ‘forcing’ upon them during a cost of living crisis.

The Warriner School reviewed their uniform policy following the Department of Education cost of school uniform legislation 2021. They say they worked closely with their supplier to make ‘cost effective and environmental changes to our uniform’.

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