Northern Ireland

'Upskirt' videos: Enniskillen teachers may take action

Enniskillen Royal Grammar School
Image caption A teenage boy was suspended for a total of 17 days over "inappropriate images"

The NASUWT union is balloting its members for industrial action at an Enniskillen school after it claims videos were taken up the skirts of two teachers by a pupil.

The 32 teachers in Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS) may refuse to teach the pupil as a result.

In a letter, seen by the BBC, the school admits "inappropriate images" of two members of staff were found.

The pupil was suspended for a total of 17 days as a result.

A letter from the chair of the school's board of governors, sent to teaching staff in early June, detailed the events.

In November 2016, "a memory stick containing inappropriate images" was found in the school.

The PSNI investigated and two female teachers were informed about the images.

Image caption Prosecutors descided not to pursue charges against the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School pupil

It emerged that the images had been taken by a pupil in May and June 2015, but this had not come to light until November 2016.

The teenage boy was initially suspended for five days and later for 12 further days.

The case went to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) but it decided not to prosecute the pupil.

In a statement, the PPS said that the activities reported to them by police as having been committed did not constitute an offence in criminal law.

The PPS also said that the women teachers involved "were not observed doing a private act and therefore the evidential test in respect of the offence of voyeurism" was not met.

In the letter to staff, ERGS said the governors had considered whether to expel the pupil but decided not to after taking legal advice.

'Sexually exploited'

The school also said that it - along with other agencies - had carried out a risk assessment and drawn up safety and support plans for both the boy and the two female teachers.

However, the BBC has obtained letters to the school from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the NASUWT in response.

The ATL has 24 members in the school while the NASUWT has 48.

The ATL said they were concerned there may be other victims "as yet unidentified" captured on video on the same memory stick.

They also said that the school should "revisit the question of whether to exclude the pupil concerned".

The NASUWT letter, meanwhile, outlined the impact on the two women teachers involved who are its members.

The union alleges that the governors were not sufficiently open with staff about the situation.

They wrote that the women involved were "sexually exploited and feel objectified" as "it remains a fact that videos were taken up the skirts" of the teachers.

The NASUWT are balloting their members in the school on whether to refuse to teach the pupil involved.

In a statement to the BBC, ERGS said that "given the complex and sensitive nature of this issue for all concerned, we are disappointed that this is being dealt with in the media".

"It is not appropriate for the school to comment further."