A school in Melbourne's southeast has come under fire for supposedly locking bathrooms as a way to eliminate vaping during school hours.
The decision made by Koo Wee Rup Secondary College in Victoria has been labelled "outrageous" by some parents who've criticised the need for students to "request an access card" to use them.
The extreme measures were taken after complaints of vaping and other anti-social behaviour at recess and lunchtime, The Herald Sun reported.
Parents were notified of the new rule in a letter that said "students are now required to swipe a staff member’s access card to enter".
The letter went on to say that students must first ask permission and then return the card to the staff member "as soon as they return", according to the Herald Sun.
It's believed there will be two toilets left open during recess — one male and one female — but before and after school, and during class times, they will be locked.
New rules slammed as students left 'humiliated'
A mother of a Year 9 student reportedly told the publication the move is "outrageous" saying, "this is a high school, not a prison".
A female student said she was left "humiliated" when she began menstruating at school but was unable to access the bathroom.
"I can’t believe that my school took away my right and would not allow me to go to the toilet. I felt so uncomfortable," she said.
"I had to go to the head office to ask to use their toilets and they would not let me, but I kept arguing and they eventually let me."
Others were reportedly concerned about those who had medical conditions such as IBS, with concerns "these kids are going to have to line up or find a teacher to give them access".
Department of Education responds to school rule
A spokesperson for Victoria's Department of Education could not comment on this specific case.
"Students at all schools across the state can access the toilets with permission during classroom hours," a spokesperson said in a statement to Yahoo News Australia.
Yahoo News Australia understands that Koo Wee Rup Secondary College is trialling its current bathroom policy and will review and amend it as necessary.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.