United Kingdom: Towards A Gender-Neutral Uniform Policy, Secondary School Bans Students From Wearing Skirts

Following “modifications” to the Tiverton High School uniform policy, all students will be obliged to wear pants beginning in September.

Parents were told of the changes on June 9th, with the sole exemption to the Devon school’s new regulation being PE sessions.

As part of an effort to make the school uniform “more gender-neutral,” the school has instituted a new regulation allowing students to only wear pants.  In addition to executing the modification to have a more gender-neutral uniform, it was also declared due to a recurring issue of females wearing their skirts shorter than knee length. This adjustment was made because of the ongoing problem.

As the school’s principal, Sammy Crook, put it: “We will follow other secondary schools in implementing a more gender-neutral uniform policy.”

“Parents/carers will be pleased to know that the majority of the uniform will remain as it is, with the exception that from September all students will be expected to wear trousers.”

Including the following: “We never take decisions like this lightly and go through a detailed process over time in order to come to the right conclusions for our students and the school.

“This change to uniform policy has the approval of our governors, and balances the demands placed on us in matters including standards of education, parental cost, inclusivity and student health.”

There had been “many complaints” from the general public and visitors to our school because girls were abusing our skirt length policy, the headmistress stated. It was “frustrating,” she continued.

Mrs Crook added:  “Trousers also standardise how our students dress, so that we and they can focus on what we consider to be our primary objective: learning.”  She said it had been “frustrating” and “time consuming” for the school’s employees to continually enforcing the school’s skirt length policy.

In the wake of the announcement, parents have taken to social media to express their outrage “Ultimately, this rule is sexist.” “They would never insist that all boys wear skirts, the fact that they can insist that girls wear trousers is purely because they are female and therefore the decision has been made on account of their gender, it strips them of choice and is therefore sexist.”

Some questioned whether the trouser restriction would also apply to female employees, while another Facebook user said: “So is the argument about making the school gender neutral or about changing a uniform because the latter is simple but the first is taking away the rights of existing genders to suit others It has far bigger implications.” “Wearing a uniform never eradicated the rich family /poor family outlook so why not have freedom of choice to feel comfortable in your own skin .” “Then there’s no need to head it Gender neutral at all. You are all unique in your own ways, whatever path they have chosen.” “I thought it was all about teaching acceptance to be who you chose. Not to push the ways of others onto all.”




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