Children As Young As 11 Are Taking, Sharing Upskirt Videos Of Their Teachers, Classmates

A Northern Ireland teachers union says that at least two female teachers were victimized by a 14-year-old in this way.

A young woman models a skirt.
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A Northern Ireland teachers union says that at least two female teachers were victimized by a 14-year-old in this way.

Children as young as 11-years-old are taking and sharing so-called “upskirt” photos of their teachers and even their classmates, a Northern Ireland teachers’ union says via Sky News.

For as long photography has been a thing, there have been photographers who have attempted to take photographs of things they probably shouldn’t, and an “upskirt” photo is just such a thing. As the name suggests, it’s a photo of a woman or young girl’s legs and pelvic area taken surreptitiously from below their skirt. The goal is for the photographer to capture the victim’s undergarments or private parts.

Over the past few decades, however, the problem has increased for a couple of reasons. For one, cameras are getting smaller and more mobile, and people interested in taking such photos are able to do so a little more easily, and avoid detection in the process. And of course, the internet has allowed such photos to be shared far and wide, instantly.

So pervasive is the problem that, in Northern Ireland anyway, children as young as 11-years-old have been taking such pictures. At least two adult women — teachers — were victimized in this way, as were an unknown number of the kids’ female classmates.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the Irish teachers’ union NASUWT, says it’s a problem that isn’t being taken seriously enough by the country’s legal and educational systems.

a shot of a young girl wearing a skirt, taken from the waist down
  Free-Photos / Pixabay

As an example, Keates points to a recent case in which a teenager was convicted of taking upskirt photos of two female teachers. The teen was between 14- and 15-years-old at the time of the offense, as The Independent reports. And according to Keates, he got off light, with only a 17-day suspension (or “exclusion,” as it’s called in Ireland).

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“I think what the upskirting case showed us is it can be institutionalised – in that the [teenager got only a 17-day exclusion].”

Since that teenager’s crimes, however, the United Kingdom has made taking upskirt photos a specific criminal offense, rather than prosecuting individuals under broader public indecency laws.

Keates says the law is a good starting point, but there are other steps that need to be taken. She suggests, for example, banning cell phones and mobile devices in U.K. classrooms, according to The Bury Times, as well as designing schools in such a way that limits opportunities for taking such photos. One suggestion she makes is for architects to design schools with no open stairways, for example.