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A school head teacher has been forced to back down after blaming unwanted sexual attention and upskirt photos on the length of girls’ skirts.
After an assembly at The Elton High School in Bury that focused on “peer on peer abuse across society” female pupils said said the length of their skirts was blamed 'as the sole reason for up-skirting and unwanted sexual attention'.
They also claim they were told that short skirts are a distraction for male staff members and other pupils.
Dozens of outraged parents took to the school's private Facebook page to share their anger over the issues discussed, saying "girls should not be told how to dress to stop males looking at them".
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One parent contacted the Manchester Evening News to say that their children had been left upset by the assemblies, with schoolgirls feeling “victim blamed”.
Some older pupils removed their ties in protest after the assemblies and an Instagram page was set up under the name 'Exposing Elton High', which said: "For the past week both girls and boys have been forced to have an assembly on rape and sexual assault, however this assembly did not address the problems we have at Elton, but rather blame girls for the length of their skirts as the sole reason for up-skirting and unwanted sexual attention."
The school has since apologised 'for any false impression that was given' and has written to concerned parents 'to resolve any confusion that may have arisen'.
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"We held assemblies in school last week to discuss the issue of peer on peer abuse across society, how it presents itself in schools and how it should be reported and addressed," said headteacher Jonathan Wilton.
"As is usual at the start of the school day, our assemblies also made reference to the need to wear uniform smartly, including by not rolling up skirts at the waist.
"Following the assembly, some students took to social media to express concerns that we had linked shortened skirts and abuse. This was absolutely not our intention.
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"We have spoken to the students to listen to their perceptions and opinions.
"These conversations were very positive: we apologised for any false impression that was given, and we pledged to keep working with them and with all our students and staff to ensure our school community remains a safe and tolerant place."
The girls have now taken down their Instagram page in response.
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