The weather in the UK over the last couple of days has been no joke, although Twitter users seem to think it’s funny. A two-week-long heat wave is predicted for the area with temperatures in the nineties for the end of July and beginning of August following a string of particularly steamy days this week. Despite the soaring temperatures, a high school in Brighton firmly insisted that students adhere to the school’s dress code.
Earlier this week, students at Longhill High School were punished for wearing school-issued gym shorts on the hottest day of the year so far. Though the gym shorts the boys wore did have the school’s logo on them, they were still reprimanded for failing to wear regulation uniform. Some were sent home and others were kept in isolation or excluded the following day, according to Daily Mail. So the four year, nine male students decided on a slightly breezier solution. Following Tuesday’s punishment, the boys showed up to school on Wednesday in dress code approved, official, navy, pleated, skirts.
One of the boys told Daily Mail, “It’s not fair for boys to be roasting in black trousers on the hottest day of the year while the girls can wear skirts.” To which we say, you’re absolutely right, young man! School uniforms are an antiquated way of enforcing gender stereotypes and, if a boy wants to wear a skirt to help keep things cool, then he should be able to! And he was!
“Progressive” wardrobe choices in school systems in the UK are not exactly a new idea. Last month, new policies regarding uniforms were introduced in 80 UK schools. The new regulations are meant to reduce harassment among students who may be the targets of homophobic or transphobic bullying. Schools are responsible for specifying their own rules, but one in particular is leading the way by simply offering more choices. If a girl wants to wear pants, she can, and if a boy wants to wear a skirt, he also can. Really a transformative idea — girls wearing pants — but it is 2016 after all!
And Longhill School has been very supportive. According to Mashable, the school’s head teacher released a statement which confirmed that “students can choose to wear any part of the agreed school uniform.”