A British high school’s decision to ban skirts in favor of ‘gender-neutral’ trousers has been branded “absolutely ridiculous” by parents who want to know why their daughters cannot wear skirts like all the generations of women that came before them.
Schoolgirls at Appleton Academy in Bradford, UK, have been ordered to wear “gender neutral” trousers instead of skirts at the start of the next academic year.
Bradford is one of Britain’s most culturally diverse and ethnically divided cities, with a very large Muslim minority of largely Pakistani origin, although a high proportion of the thousands of Syrian refugees the UK has taken in have also been housed there.
“The minor policy change means that, from September 2019, the uniform for all secondary pupils is changing to trousers only,” stated the Exceed Academies Trust which runs the Appleton Academy — which was rated as requiring improvement by schools regulator Ofsted — in comments reported by the Daily Mirror.
“There are a number of reasons for this change; it is gender neutral in line with the policy in the majority of secondary schools, it simplifies the uniform and it removes the issue of pupils wearing skirts that are an inappropriate length.
“In response to the policy change, the reaction from our pupils has been very mature; they have calmly asked the reason behind the decision and politely accepted the explanation provided,” they claimed — but pupils and parents who described the decision as “ridiculous” and “sexist” begged to differ.
“I think it’s disgusting and actually sexist,” said one mother who wished to remain anonymous.
“They’re not going to go and force the boys to wear skirts,” she said.
“Women from all the generations before this one wore skirts without any problems, what’s changed now?” she asked.
“What’s really annoying is that the first any of us heard about the change was on social media. We didn’t get the letter until a day later.”
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” concured a Year 10 schoolgirl, who also wished to remain anonymous.
“I really don’t like having the choice taken away from me. I like wearing a skirt because I find them comfortable, not for any reason other than that,” she said.
“Some people say that wearing a skirt makes you look like a tart and things like that. It’s just a piece of clothing, I don’t understand.”
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