Barriers installed by a school to keep students out of the bathroom during certain parts of the day have been blasted by pupils as "humiliating".
The metal barriers at The Discovery Academy in Bentilee, Stoke-on-Trent, were heavily criticised and have even been labelled "humiliating" by those that feel the gates are unfair.
Parents of the upset pupils have lambasted the school for their "animalistic" treatment, claiming that the gates to bathrooms are locked during lesson times.
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Issues for students including periods, bowel conditions and the unpredictability of needing to use the loo, in an event of sickness or otherwise, were raised by furious parents.
Over 70 pupils have since demanded their right to use the bathroom be respected, staging a walk out of classes in protest of the decision.
A mum of one pupil said: "I was flicking through Snapchat when I saw one of the gates. I asked my son 'are there gates on the toilets?' He said 'yes'.
"I phoned the office and asked them about it. I said 'send my son home now'. They asked me why and I told them 'because I said so, that's why'.
"My son asked to go to the toilet and he was told 'no'. He wasn’t allowed and he has a medical pass. The parents are taking a stand against the school. I just hope that they see things from our point of view and cut the ridiculous rules."
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Another parent worried for their daughter, adding that the gates could make for an embarrassing situation, saying: "Girls of a certain age need to use the toilet – sometimes at short notice.
"It's hard enough being a girl at that age never mind bleeding through in front of your whole class. I’m not having my daughter humiliated. You can’t prepare for an upset stomach, I think it’s disgusting."
The Alpha Academis Trust, which runs The Discovery Academy, has not commented on the metal gates, but the school itself has since spoken of the "high expectations" they set students, Metro reported.
A spokesperson said: "At AAT we have high expectations of learning and clear processes in place to support. We encourage students to go to the toilet at regular set times during the day and support those with medical needs by accessing toilets at any time."
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