The director suspends 47 students for protest on Tiktok against the ban on going to the bathroom during classes
- Parkside Community School students attended a demonstration last Friday
- Students at the school in Chesterfield were protesting the rules for using the bathroom in lessons.
- Those who participated in the hour and a half protest were suspended for five days
A principal has suspended 47 students at a Chesterfield school after they staged a protest against rules that prevent them from using the toilet during lessons.
Dozens of Parkside Community School students attended a mass rally on March 3, waving banners and chanting as they marched around the school grounds for an hour and a half.
Some school entrances were locked and students who did not participate in the protest remained in the school in an attempt to prevent the protest from spreading to the building.
Parents were informed before lunchtime that the children who participated in the protest had been excluded for five days.
The rules went into effect more than a year ago, but the school has said its policy on bathroom use “hasn’t changed this year.”
The protest has been planned for some time, but the students recently agreed on a date. When rumors of the planned demonstration reached the teachers, they tried to defuse the situation by organizing assemblies and talking to the students.
Dozens of Parkside Community School students attended a mass rally on March 3.
But last Friday, dozens of students chose not to attend classes and organized the protest instead.
One student, who had registered before the protest, decided to join after being denied access to the bathroom.
“We’ve wanted to do it for quite some time,” they said. “I don’t think it’s right for girls to be isolated in the classroom when they have their periods.
“We want to protect future generations because these rules make children uncomfortable and may mean some people don’t want to go to school.
They were not listening to us. We don’t think we have enough recognition. It really bothered me and made me uneasy. Suspending us doesn’t make sense. We should be heard.
Similar protests at schools across the country, allegedly influenced by TikTok videos, have been in the news recently. Parkside students have said they were unaware of these videos and that their protest was organized independently of any others.
Ben Riggott, director of Parkside Community School, said: “Last Friday, a group of around 40 students decided not to attend classes. They moved around the school site in a way that disrupted the learning of the rest of the school.
‘After about an hour and a half, some students decided to end their protest and others left the school grounds. Those involved throughout the protest were suspended.
“We understand that the students were protesting the arrangements for access to the bathrooms during classes. Our policy for some time has been that during school hours students are not to leave to use the restroom, unless they have a medical need to use the restroom more frequently or in an emergency situation.
“We have had problems in recent years with a small number of students constantly wanting to go to the bathroom during classes, which is disruptive to the rest of the class. We have also experienced students ‘hiding’ in the bathrooms and not attending class.
‘Like all schools we have regular breaks so there are plenty of opportunities for students to use the bathroom outside of class hours.
“I was very disappointed by the actions of these individuals last week. We work incredibly hard as a school to help our students succeed and act as responsible young people.
‘There are many established ways for students to raise issues with the school instead of protesting like they did. We have achieved considerable success, resulting in the vast majority of students far exceeding expectations and progressing to the next exciting steps in their lives after leaving Parkside.’