Schoolgirls warned over ‘short skirts link to paedophiles’
Parent body critical after letter urges parents to make their children wear ‘appropriate’ clothing.
Schoolchildren have been urged not to wear short skirts and tight trousers amid fears they could be targeted by paedophiles.
Families of children at King's Park Secondary School in Glasgow were sent letters by the school's headteacher warning that sexual predators may have been taking pictures of school pupils.
Following a report in a newspaper published earlier this week, a Glasgow City Council spokeswoman confirmed that the warning was linked to the recent conviction of local paedophile Barry McCluskey, 39, who posed as a 14-year-old girl to entice children to perform sex acts in front of web cameras.
McCluskey, from King's Park, pleaded guilty to 49 charges stretching back to 2003, including lewd and libidinous practices and behaviour, at the High Court in Glasgow in February.
However, the Scottish Parent Teacher Council has condemned the move, stating "shock tactics are not required". Chief executive Eileen Prior said: "Creating a link between school uniform and paedophilia seems to be a dangerous and unhelpful one for everyone involved.
"It implies that young people are in some way responsible for the activities of paedophiles, which is an extremely dangerous argument and one which has echoes of the comments sometimes made around rapists and women's dress.
"If there is evidence of activity by a paedophile in the area, then police and parents should be informed and involved. Many parents - and indeed young people themselves - are keen to have a dress code in school which requires everyone in the school community to dress in a way which is appropriate for a working environment."
The letters were sent to parents advising them to buy "appropriate" school uniforms from a list of approved items at Marks & Spencer. The council spokeswoman said the choice of store was an advisory only, and was not intended as an advertisement for M&S.