Sussex school introduces “new gender-neutral uniform policy”
Enraged parents of pupils at a secondary school are protesting against a new gender-neutral uniform policy that sees skirts banned form being worn.
A protest is set to be held this week on the first day back at Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex. Parents want to make their position clear, the protests come after the uniform policy was changed over the summer, scrapping skirts and requiring girls to wear trousers from September.
A petition started by a student Libby Murray has so far been signed 380 times, she said: “Forcing everyone to wear trousers is limiting choice, preventing people from having the ability to choose whether to wear a skirt or trousers and therefore preventing diversity.
“It is also very bad for the environment because the old uniforms have to be thrown away, wasting old cotton uniform.
“Fast fashion is the second biggest contributor to climate change. It’s also expensive, some people can’t afford a whole new uniform for 9 months.”
One signatory commented on the petition: “If you want a gender-neutral uniform then let boys wear skirts and stop limiting and mandating female choices.”
Another said: “In what other walk of life is it thought inappropriate for girls to wear skirts? Yet another way of controlling I think.”
A third wrote: “This uniform change has been repeatedly questioned by parents however pushed through with no regard for the cost & views of the parents or pupils.”
The school announced the controversial changes to uniform policy in 2017 following concerns over the length of skirts and to cater for transgender students, at the time of the move the headteacher Tony Smith said the change would only apply to new pupils but it has since been extended to the whole student population sparking outrage from parents and students alike.
One parent named David Flower said the girls should have the choice between skirt and trousers, he told the i newspaper: “There are lots of reasons why many of us oppose this – there’s the heat when trousers are uncomfortable, and the cost of replacing the school uniform. Some of the larger girls feel self-conscious about wearing tight trousers.
“At the end of the day it’s about allowing girls the choice to wear trousers and skirts.”
Mr Flower and other parents have launched a GoFundMe appeal to challenge the policy legally, he said that they have been advised the new uniform code could breach the Equal Opportunities Act.
On the updated dress code, the school’s website says: “This uniform has been designed specifically in response to the many issues and suggestions raised by parents, students and school staff.
“Specifically, it addresses the current issues of inequality and decency.
“We hope that it will provide a smart, comfortable and affordable alternative to the current uniform.”
East Sussex today, the rest of England tomorrow. Well done to the brave parents standing up against this madness!