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9 March 2016, 17:52
A Perthshire school has denied a claim in an online petition set up by pupils that it has imposed an outright ban on using the toilet during class-time.
Perth Grammar School said there has been an "ongoing issue with a large number of pupils asking to be excused during class-time'' but the petition claims the move breaches human rights.
Titled "Free the Bladder - a breach of human rights'', the Change.org petition has received more than 3,000 signatures. The organisers said they hoped the ban would be overturned if the petition got 100 signatures.
They admit there has been a problem with pupils avoiding classes by going to the toilet but they claim bathrooms have not been unlocked during breaks.
Perth and Kinross Council said pupils are allowed to leave class in "exceptional circumstances'' with a toilet key available and added it will work with pupils, staff and parents to explain the policy.
The petition said: "As of last week, Mrs X (the head teacher) decided that students would no longer be able to use the toilet facilities during class-time and proceeded to lock all bathrooms to prevent us from using said facilities.
"The toilets were then promised to be unlocked at interval and lunch, but so far this has failed to happen. The motive behind this idiocy seems sensible.
"Mrs X does not approve of the number of people being excused from class and fears people may 'hide'' in the bathrooms to prevent going to subjects they dislike and fair enough, this does happen.
"However, preventing us from one of our basic human rights is not the way to solve the problem.''
A council spokeswoman said: "There has been an ongoing issue with a large number of pupils asking to be excused during class-time.
"The headteacher has taken steps to reinforce the school's existing policy that pupils should not be out during class-time unless under exceptional circumstances.
"We will work with the school's staff, pupils and parents to ensure that everyone understands the policy and how it is being implemented.''