Bra search: Teachers at Tomlinscote School, Surrey, ordered schoolgirls to lift up their tops to check they weren’t hiding away mobile phones. Parents complained when their 12 and 13-year-old daughters came home from school upset (file photo)
By Sara Malm
Schoolgirls were ordered to lift up their tops by teachers to prove they were not carrying mobile phones in their bras.
The school insisted they were merely trying to enforce their no phones rule after a scanner revealed someone was carrying one.
But parents of pupils at Tomlinscote School, Frimley, Surrey, have reacted with fury.
One father said his daughter felt ’embarrassed and violated’ by the ordeal, the Sunday Express reported.
To enforce the no-phones rule teachers have been using a ‘wand’ metal detector to scan their students.
However, it is thought that the wires in one of the girls’ bras had set it off.
A group of six Year 8 students set off the alarm and was taken to a PE changing room where they were forced to lift their tops in front of two female staff.
Parents were outraged when their children came home upset and told them of their ordeal.
One unnamed father said that he did ‘fully support’ the phone-ban but that the strip search was a step too far.
‘My daughter felt embarrassed and violated for having to expose herself in front of other girls and teachers.’
The school, which coincidentally is in Education Secretary Michael Gove’s constituency, has apologised to the students and their parents.
In a letter of apology sent out to parents head teacher Zoe Johnson-Walker called it a ‘screening’ rather than ‘search’ and stressed that precautions, such as no physical contact and ensuring no male staff was involved, had been taken ‘with the aim of being considerate of the individual.’
The search was carried out after it had been reported that girls were smuggling in phones in their bras but it seems the alarm was most likely triggered by the metal wiring in the young girls’ bras and not smuggled mobile phones.