SOME students at Weston Secondary School have been suspended after protesting against unisex toilets, parents say.

Around 200 pupils staged a protest at the site in Tickleford Drive calling for a ban on unisex toilets and took exception to rules preventing them from leaving lessons to use the bathroom.

In an email to parents, seen by the Daily Echo, headteacher, Louise Paston criticised Monday's actions and said sanctions had been issued depending on the level of involvement each student had.

Year 10 student, Cloe Keeley, was among those who joined the protest because she is not comfortable using the toilets.

Her mum, Nicole Tipton, said Cloe was not suspended but some of her friends were.

She said: “They’ve suspended some children, my daughters’ friends have been suspended for a week, but my daughter hasn’t actually been suspended.

“The teachers are making a whole load of excuses.

“Why would they not ask the parents or the students about the unisex toilets?

“Why would they just do it?

“It seems like some people are being suspended because they’re known as being in a group when there were hundreds of children protesting.

“How do they know who to suspend?

“I’m not being funny but the girls need their own toilets.”

She added: “Students should be allowed their freedom.”

Weston Secondary School was contacted by the Echo but did not provide a response.

In an email to a student’s parent, Mrs Paston wrote: “As you may be aware, there is a TikTok trend taking place around schools in the UK encouraging students to protest regarding toilet facilities.

“Today (Monday), some of our students took part in a protest at breaktime.

“Whilst we support the rights of students to voice their opinions, these protests presented a significant risk to the safety of students and staff as students crowded in areas around the school, failed to listen to instructions whilst chanting, crowding, climbing fences and videoing each other and staff.

“As a result of this behaviour, some of out students have suffered panic attacks, property has been damaged, and members of staff have been injured.

“Our year 11 students were also sitting a Mock GCSE exam and this was interrupted when a student maliciously set the fire alarm off.

“These behaviours caused all students to miss two hours of learning.

“It goes without saying that the students come to school to feel safe and staff do not come to school to be assaulted, videoed or harassed.

“As a result, we have responded to this behaviour by issuing levels of sanction depending on how involved students were with the disruption.”

In a statement, Cllr Darren Paffey added: “I understand Weston Secondary experienced students taking part in the latest TikTok craze today (Monday) but that everything is in hand.

“When students have legitimate concerns, then I know Weston and every school in the city has a proper way of raising these with the school leadership, and it would be best for everyone if these issues were resolved that way.”