Boys Wear Skirts To Protest School's 'No Shorts' Dress Code Policy

by Sarah Hosseini
Originally Published: 
Image via Twitter/Simon Hall News

The British boys at Isca Academy are in the middle of a heatwave

There are a lot of stories swirling around about how school dress codes unfairly target girls. It’s no secret that many educational establishments cling to antiquated and sexist policies, despite many calls for change. And now we’re seeing how those outdated guidelines can also negatively impact boys.

Dozens of boys donning skirts showed up to Isca Academy in Exeter after their head teacher refused to relax school uniform guidelines. An oppressive heatwave is currently cloaking Britain so the boys originally asked to wear shorts. Their request was declined.

“We’re not allowed to wear shorts, and I’m not sitting in trousers all day, it’s a bit hot,” one of the boys in the protest tells the BBC.

A ‘bit hot’ might be a bit of an understatement. Temperatures climbed up to 94 degrees yesterday on the summer soltice, and have been holding steady in the high 80s all week, according to The Telegraph. The mother of the boy that started the skirt protest said the weather was unbearable.

Image via Twitter

“I spoke to a teacher to ask about shorts and she said it was school policy [that they could not be worn]. I did say this was exceptional weather, but they were having none of it. If girls can wear skirts, why can’t boys wear shorts?” Claire Lambeth said to The Guardian.

She said her son came up with the idea the night his request to wear shorts was declined, and borrowed a skirt. He wore it the next day, along with some other boys.

“I didn’t expect it to take off like that. The school is being silly really – this is exceptional weather. I was very proud of Ryan. I think it was a great idea.”

Image via Twitter

Another mother said, “My 14-year-old son wanted to wear shorts. The headteacher told them: ‘Well, you can wear a skirt if you like’ – but I think she was being sarcastic.” She added, “Children tend to take you literally, and because she told them it was OK, there was nothing she could do as long as they are school skirts.”

Taking action against absurd dress code rules will always be in style. Well played lads.

The current school uniform guidelines allow male students to wear trousers. Female students may wear trousers or tartan skirts. The students are permitted to remove their ties, but must carry them around with them. Additionally, shirts can be untucked in class but must be tucked in when they leave the classroom.

The school’s head teacher Aimee Mitchell said in a statement: “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.

Image via Twitter

“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.”

Claire Reeves has a son at the school and said she also asked the school if her son would be able to wear shorts in the heatwave, but was “shot down.”

“I feel extremely proud of them all for standing up for their rights. People are always talking about equal right for males and females and school uniform shouldn’t be any different,” she said.

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