London (UK): Skirting the issue! A group of teenage boys at a UK school turned up for classes in ‘cool’ skirts in a bold protest against the institution’s ‘no shorts’ uniform policy despite the ongoing heatwave.
Five boys from ISCA Academy in Exeter, Devon, strolled in wearing the attire after being told by teachers that they would be placed in isolation were they to walk into class in shorts.
The mother of one of the pupils said her 14-year-old was told a day earlier by the head teacher, “you can wear a skirt if you like”, after he complained about the heat. So he – along with four others – wore official uniform skirts to school so as to avoid any possibility of action by authorities.
“My son wanted to wear shorts but was told he would be put in the isolation room for the rest of the week,” the mother told Devon Live.
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“The head teacher told them, ‘Well you can wear a skirt if you like’, but I think she was being sarcastic. However, children tend to take you literally and so five boys turned up in skirts today – and because she told them it was okay there was nothing she could do as long as they are school skirts,” the mother said.
She said one of the boys did get in trouble, but only because his skirt was “too short”. The mother said that children should have a voice, no matter how old they are. After the success of the boys’ uniform objections, 50 boys are apparently now planning to follow suit, the report said.
“Children also don’t like injustice. The boys see the women teachers in sandals and nice cool skirts and tops while they are wearing long trousers and shoes and the older boys have to wear blazers. They just think it’s unfair that they can’t wear shorts in this heat,” the mother said.
“They are doing this to cool down – but also to protest because they don’t feel they have been listened to,” she said.
Headteacher Aimee Mitchell said they are considering revising the school uniform policy as the heatwave continues to beat down on Britain. “We recognise that the last few days have been exceptionally hot and we are doing our utmost to enable both students and staff to remain as comfortable as possible,” she said.
“Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families. However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future,” the headmistress said.
The heatwave in the UK saw five sizzling days in a row during which temperatures in parts of the country have topped 30 degrees Celsius.