Kingswinford parents brand school toilet cameras 'creepy'
Parents have criticised a secondary school after CCTV cameras were installed in pupils' toilets.
Summerhill School in Kingswinford in the West Midlands claimed cameras were intended to combat bullying and vandalism.
But parents said the surveillance was "intrusive" and "creepy" and some children now refused to use the toilet.
The school said "no cameras are directed towards sensitive areas including cubicles or urinals".
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Amanda Gennard, 52, of Kingswinford, who was picking up her 12-year-old daughter, said: "It's bad without them asking parents first.
"I asked my daughter, she said she wouldn't use the toilets."
Darren Willmoth, 52, of Kingswinford, who has an 11-year-old son at the school, said: "I think they need to be there but we should have been consulted first before putting them in.
"I might think a little differently if it was my daughter."
One parent said 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."
A third mother said her children had refused to go to toilet in school.
"They said 'can we ring you to take us home to use the toilet?'
"It's absolute madness... surely they can put a prefect on duty in the toilets at break times, or a teacher?"
Another parent said: "A friend of mine said her daughter came home in tears because she was too scared to use the loo all day and she nearly wet herself in class. It's so intrusive and creepy."
The school received a "requires improvement" rating after an Ofsted inspection last November.
Executive head teacher James Bowkett said for "a number of years" it had installed CCTV in "various locations".
He added this was to "not only allow us to monitor student behaviour but also to protect the school - ensuring the safety of everyone in our community".
Mr Bowkett said: "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.
"I must stress that this it to allow us to monitor who is entering and leaving the communal toilet areas."