A growing number of pupils are taking pictures up teachers’ skirts and posting them on social media, unions have warned.
The “disturbing” increase in upskirting and “downblousing” – taking a photograph down someone’s top without their permission – was raised at the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers’ (NASUWT) conference in Wrexham.
Sion Amlyn, a national executive member of the union, said: “Quite disturbingly there’s an increase in the practice of upskirting or downblousing by pupils on teachers and that has a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of our members.
“They suffer from depression, they don’t want to go back to work again and more needs to be done to tackle this kind of practice.
“Schools are trying. There are mechanisms in schools to tackle this, but I don’t think they are being used properly or adequately enough.”
It comes after Theresa May announced the government would introduce a law to ban upskirting after a previous attempt to introduce a ban was recently blocked by MPs.
The prime minister discussed a ban on upskirting with cabinet ministers on 25 June. Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope ruined backbenchers’ efforts to push the bill through.
Sir Christopher’s actions led to outrage and embarrassment for other Tories who backed the bill. Women’s underwear was hung from the doors of his offices in protest on 18 June.
The new law would mean the offence carries a maximum two-year sentence. In the most serious cases, those convicted will be placed on the sex offenders’ register.
Under current law, there is no specific offence naming and banning upskirting in England and Wales.
It comes after a study by NASUWT in March revealed that four in five (81 per cent) of teachers said they believed they had suffered sexual harassment or bullying in the workplace since starting the profession.