Students at The de Ferrers Academy in Burton have been secretly taking pictures of teachers using them in ‘wholly inappropriate’ often ‘sexualised’ social media videos.
Parents of pupils have been informed about the ‘hurtful’ videos using images of some staff, which have appeared on TikTok.
School leaders have warned pupils they risk being prosecuted in court and being expelled.
Leaders at the school, which has three sites in the town and is the biggest secondary in Staffordshire, said some pictures of staff had been lifted from the school’s website, while others had been taken covertly during lessons.
Principal Kathy Hardy warned that such incidents would not be tolerated and leaders were investigating to find out which pupils were involved.
She said: ‘Many of the images are sexualised and the language and tone wholly inappropriate and hurtful. Images have been taken covertly while staff have been teaching in school.’
She warned in a letter sent to parents that it was illegal to create such videos and could result in a prosecution for malicious communication as well as a permanent suspension.
She also said such things were also happening at other schools across the country.
Her letter said: ‘You may have seen information in the news about the misuse of social media accounts by students and the negative impact that these are having on teachers and staff in school.
‘This is something affecting most secondary schools across the country, and we are no exception. We are aware of TikTok videos being created using images of some staff members.
‘These images have been taken from the school website and also the internet. Many of the images are sexualised and the language and tone wholly inappropriate and hurtful. Images have been taken covertly while staff have been teaching in school.
‘We are doing our best to identify students involved in creating these accounts and images. This activity is illegal and could result in prosecutions as malicious communication, as well as school-based sanctions up to and including permanent suspension.
‘You may believe that your child would not be involved in such activity but please remember that following an illegal account or sharing images and videos (whether your child is in them or not) is a serious issue and it is better for you to be safe and ensure that this isn’t the case.
‘Aside from potential illegality, these actions are neither a wise choice and are not in keeping with the ethos that we promote as a trust, ‘Work hard, be kind, choose wisely’.
‘Accounts can also be used to bully other students and phones can be used to download illegal or inappropriate content.’
Mrs Hardy urged parents to speak to their children about this issues and the risks associated with following these accounts and sharing such images.
She added that she knows parents may feel uncomfortable with this and ‘only you know whether this is the right thing to do’.
Mrs Hardy said her first concern was for the welfare of the pupils and what they had access to but she was also concerned about the staff who ‘work hard to provide the best for the students’ and she would not accept staff being subjected to this abuse.
Ian McNeilly, chief executive of The de Ferrers Trust, said: ‘Social media has huge benefits for its users but it also comes with considerable down sides, especially when it is misused.
‘This particular story is a national one and many schools have unfortunate examples of images of their staff members being used inappropriately in videos and then shared on the TikTok platform.
‘Whilst I’m sure it serves as a source of entertainment for some of the young people who create, share and watch them, they need to understand that there are real people behind those images.
‘Real people with real feelings who have been deeply upset by being bullied in this way – because that is what it is.
‘School leaders will take the necessary action against any students who are identified as being involved in this.
‘We advise parents to at the very least discuss this issue with their children and seek assurances that they are not involved.’