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A bunch of pupils have claimed their school "blamed short skirts for sexual abuse" during an assembly.
The Elton High School, in Bury, Greater Manchester, has been accused by parents of implying that “sexual abuse could be blamed on short skirts”.
Students at the school allege that they were invited to take part in an assembly to discuss 'peer-on-peer abuse across society'.
However, when the issue of uniform was raised, pupils claim the staff leading the discussion said that the length of skirts could be blamed 'as the sole reason for up-skirting and unwanted sexual attention'.
Disturbingly, students also claim they were told that wearing short skirts can be a distraction for male staff members and other pupils, and admitted to feeling "victim blamed".
Outraged parents shared their anger on social media, including a now-deleted Instagram account. The account shared a photo of a pink skirt with the words “Short skirts don’t rape. Rapists rape".
Underneath, the user wrote: "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 post went on to say that they would “no longer be standing for this” and urged pupils to complete a Google form sharing their own experiences from the school.
"Quite a few parents have complained and the year 11 students have refused to wears their ties in protest," one mum told the Manchester Evening News.
"Elton are always complaining to parents about the children's skirts, jewellery, uniform, make-up. Our children are there to be educated and they concentrate more on everything else."
When approached for comment, Elton High School said: "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.
"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."
He added: "All the students that we spoke with responded positively, as have a number of parents who have been in touch. We have written to all parents of students in those year groups to resolve any confusion that may have arisen.
"We will continue to work closely with our students so that they remain confident that abuse and harassment have no place in our school culture."
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