Teenage boys wear skirts to school to protest against ‘no shorts’ policy

Dozens of pupils at Isca academy in Exeter stage uniform protest after school insists they wear trousers despite heatwave

Pupils at Isca academy say boys from every year group have been taking part in the uniform protest.

Dozens of teenage boys have turned up to school wearing skirts after their headteacher refused to relax the uniform code banning shorts despite the heatwave that has gripped Britain this week.

Pupils at the Isca academy in Exeter argued it was too hot for long trousers and asked if they could wear shorts as temperatures this week rose above 30C.

When this was refused a handful turned up on Wednesday in skirts borrowed from friends and sisters. On Thursday about 30 boys were wearing skirts.

One boy told Devon Live he had been told on Wednesday the skirt was too short and his legs too hairy. Some of the boys had taken this into account and bought razors to shave their legs.

One boy in year nine wearing a skirt said the protest had started with five boys wearing skirts but he expected “hundreds” to follow suit. Asked if he was enjoying the experience, he said he appreciated the “nice breeze”.

Another said it was “quite refreshing”, pointing out that if even Royal Ascot had allowed racegoers in the royal enclosure to remove their jackets then the school ought to relax its dress code.

The headteacher, Aimee Mitchell, said: “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.

“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.”

A Devon county council spokesperson said: “About 30 boys arrived at school this morning wearing school skirts. It’s fewer than was anticipated yesterday, but the weather today is considerably cooler. None of the boys have been penalised – no one was put in isolation or detention for wearing a skirt.”

The mother of one of the boys who began the protest said she was proud of him. Claire Lambeth, 43, said her son Ryan, 15, “came home the day before he wore the skirt and complained about it being really, really hot at school.

“He said it was unbearable. 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?

“Ryan came up with the idea of wearing a skirt so that evening we borrowed one. He wore it the next day – as did five other boys. This morning there were about 50-60 of them in skirts.

“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.”

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.

“However, 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.”

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Source By https://www.theguardian.com

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