CASES of sexual assault and harassment are going unreported in Scottish schools because teachers don’t know how to deal with the problem, politicians have been told.

Representatives from Girlguiding Scotland told the Scottish Parliament there was still a culture in schools of “boys will be boys”.

Hannah Brisbane, a youth advocate for the organisation, said: “When a boy yells at a girl “show us your boobs” teachers will turn away and say it is hormonal boys.”

Her colleague Susanna McGuiness told Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee that teachers ignored, dismissed or even perpetuated harassment.

She described a guidance teacher doing nothing despite witnessing a boy walking around unclasping girls’ bras.

And she said there were examples of teachers using “horrific” language with one saying a boy could hit a female pupil because she was a “crazy bitch”.

A survey for the organisation shows 25 per cent of girls between the ages of 11 and 16 are afraid to put their hands up in class for fear of harassment in front of teachers.

Ms McGuiness called for schools to give teachers more support to deal with online bullying and referred to stories of female pupils being filmed by teenage boys.

Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour said what was being talked about was “criminal” and asked why the witnesses often turned a blind eye.

Ms McGuiness said she thought the culture was so strong that some of the female teachers were intimidated while others were unsure how to deal with online bullying on social messaging sites such as Snapchat.

She said: “Something we’ve seen a lot and young people have spoken about a lot is things being put on Snapchat and that going around schools, so really young girls having nude pictures taken and leaked.

“It’s something that’s quite shocking to a lot of adults, but it’s something that’s very widespread in school and it goes under the radar because it’s something that’s not happening in a classroom so teachers aren’t sure if they’re allowed to deal with it, what steps they should be taking and whether the police should be involved.

“Obviously that’s a really upsetting thing for girls to be dealing with in school and we’d like to see teachers knowing how to deal with that.

“We know of instances where there have been girls who’ve been filmed being assaulted, non-consensual footage of rape going around schools, and that not being reported or dealt with because it’s a frightening thing.

“It’s so large that teachers don’t know who to go to and they don’t know how to deal with that so often it does just go unreported and when it does get reported it can often make it worse because it’s not being dealt with appropriately because they don’t know the steps they can take.”