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Schoolgirls wear shorts to stop other pupils taking upskirt photos

Sebastian Mann March 28, 2018

Schoolgirls are wearing shorts under their uniform to prevent classmates from taking revealing photos of them, the leader of Britain’s largest teaching union has said.

Pupils are being forced to defend themselves against sexual harassment in the playground by changing the way they dress, according to Mary Bousted.

The general secretary of the National Education Union said: “It’s amazing that in the 21st century women have to do this.”

Many pupils felt school was no longer a safe space, Ms Bousted said (Getty Images)

Teachers are also said to have been the victims of “upskirting”, with many professionals and pupils only learning that the photos had been secretly taken when they found them online.

Related: 15-year-old tells politicians to support gender neutral school uniforms

Ms Bousted told the Independent that sexual harassment was becoming “normalised” in schools.

“That makes schools, for many girls, not a safe space,” she said.

“Although girls enjoy school and do well at it, they do not feel safe in school.

Pupils are being forced to defend themselves against sexual harassment (Pexels)

“And that leads to girls not willing to go into public spaces in school and girls wearing shorts underneath their skirts so that if anyone puts a phone up their skirts they are not going to photograph anything.”

She added: “It is the age old thing that women have to cover up to protect themselves against men’s excessive libidos.

“It is amazing that in the 21st century that women and girls are having to think ‘I have to cover myself so that I don’t become prey to these practices’.”

Earlier this month, the Liberal Democrats backed a campaign for gender neutral school uniforms in British schools.

Seven of the party’s MPs signed a motion stating that the move would send a “strong signal across the country that everyone is welcome and accepted at school, no matter their gender”.

More: Education, harassment, school uniform

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