A MUM left “sickened” by a school’s CCTV camera in the girls’ toilets has been told it’s to stop bullying.
The woman, who has daughters at the Teesside school, believes the surveillance is a violation and has contacted the police.
But the headmaster of The King’s Academy in Coulby Newham says the camera has captured “vital” evidence in the past and acts as a deterrent to poor behaviour and bullying.
The woman told Teesside Live: “I was horrified and sickened by this.
“In a place where you would expect a bit of privacy my children were being recorded.”
She added: “They justify this due to the reasons of vandalism and bullying, despite the fact they also restrict the number of pupils going into the toilet and have a teacher outside.
“I don’t see the logic. Like many parents I’m appalled it’s happening, some students were not aware it was a camera and they had been changing in that area.”
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman confirmed officers had investigated and were satisfied there is no misuse.
The mother posted a photo of the camera on social media where it has attracted more than 500 comments from other concerned parents.
One woman said: “Cameras should not be in the toilets, end of! If bullying happens in the toilet then have a staff member present!”
I was horrified and sickened by this. In a place where you would expect a bit of privacy my children were being recorded
Another disagreed: “It’s not actually pointing to the toilet area, it’s pointing to the sinks! All due to too much vandalism and smoking in the toilets!”
Another mother added: “I spoke to my lad and he said they’re in the boys toilet as well.”
David Dawes, principal of The King’s Academy, said: “Like many schools we are fortunate to have effective CCTV coverage of all parts of the academy to ensure the safety of students, staff and visitors at all times.
“This includes student toilets where the purpose of the cameras is to act as a deterrent to poor behaviour and bullying, which sadly is more of a risk in toilet areas.
“The cameras are not concealed, are visible to all students and have been in place since the school was built in 2003.”
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Mr Dawes added: “The cameras point away from the cubicles and the personal privacy of students is no way compromised.
“Whilst the footage is not monitored constantly, where incidents have occurred it has provided vital evidence to enable the school to act and to be able to reassure parents regarding the safety of their children.”
The school, which has more than 1,200 students, was rated “Good” by Oftsted in its last inspection.
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