‘Riots’ have been reported in schools across the country today, as protests staged by pupils over toilet usage appear to have gotten out of hand.
Police have been called in to a number of schools after students revolted over upcoming changes regarding the use of toilets during lessons.
Riot police were called into Richmond School in North Yorkshire after students started letting off fire extinguishers and kicking down doors.
Local reports suggest a tree was set on fire, teachers were pushed over and windows were smashed during the furore.
It is understood the protest was planned by students after the school announced plans to lock the toilets during lesson time and for a period over break time.
A petition was initially proposed, before students instead decided to refuse to go to lessons and staged a protest in the lunch hall.
There are reports that around 20 students have been since been permanently excluded due to the disturbance.
Jenna Potter, headteacher at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, said in a statement to Richmondshire Today: ‘A small group of students has protested against the use of toilets during lesson time.
‘The overwhelming majority of students were equally shocked at the behaviour of a small minority. Students have already been consulted and will continue to contribute to a solution.’
Meanwhile in Cornwall, a demonstration at the Penrice Academy in St Austell saw tables being flipped over and a girl injured after a protest kicked off which had reportedly been organised on Facebook
the night before.
A message shared on Facebook
on Thursday read: ‘Dear all Penrice students. We are protesting tomorrow about toilet rights.
‘Please join if you can this will run through period 1, 2, 3, 4 and will take place outside reception and year 7 yard. We will all spread out through the school and please make posters and signs.
‘Like I said please join if you can. Repost this on your story and spread the message.’
Local police were reportedly made aware of the incident but did not attend the scene.
An email sent by Penrice Academy staff to parents seen by Metro.co.uk read: ‘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 unaacceptable.
‘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.
‘We hope to engage with them to find a solution that works for everyone as soon as possible.’
Elsewhere in the country, The Farnley Academy in Leeds has seen students standing outside classrooms and refusing to go in.
The students were supported in their protest by a number of ‘disgusted’ parents, who said the move was a violation of the children’s human rights.
Protests have also been staged at Bromfords School in Wickford and Castle View School in Canvey, where pupils organised a series of walk-outs which soon escalated into ‘chaos.’
One parent of a pupil at Bromfords, who did not wish to be named, told the Canvey Echo: ‘Students were setting off fire alarms and running amok at the school in protest of locked toilets, lack of school lunches and staffing issues.
‘I have just physically attended the school to get my daughter out of there as it’s kicking off.
‘I have just witnessed first-hand, the school is chaos!’
Another protest has been reported at Haven High Academy in Boston, Lincolnshire, which the headteacher has blamed on social media trends and warned students they will be met with sanctions if it happens again.
A number of videos have surfaced on TikTok depicting a large number of students gathering on the school’s field to protest the ‘prison rules’ enforced by the school.
One parent of a pupil at Haven High told LincolnshireLive claims the school is locking toilet blocks and corridors.
The parent also claimed children are not being allowed to use the toilet during lessons.
They said: ‘For some strange reason the headteacher seems to be throwing prison rules into the school where corridors and toilet blocks are locked during school time.
‘If they need the toilet or anything they have to go through this teacher and that teacher, it’s just like a prison in there. They can’t wear any sort of jewellery and no make-up. If mobile phones are switched on then they get that confiscated until after school.
‘All the students protested and went onto the school field. Some teachers were trying to get them back in but they were saying “no”.’