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School Revises Dress Code After Boys Wear Skirts (Photos)

| by Michael Doherty
A person wearing a skirt.A person wearing a skirt.

After a group of young boys wore skirts to protest their school's dress code, the school has said that it will allow shorts to be worn starting next year.

A group of boys from ISCA Academy in Exeter, Devon, England, went viral online when, after being told they could not wear shorts to school during hot weather, they decided to wear skirts as a protest, reports The Telegraph.

"We're not allowed to wear shorts, and I'm not sitting in trousers all day," said one student. "It's a bit hot."

Around 30 boys wore tartan-patterned skirts, the school's uniform for girls, according to The Guardian. When asked if they could wear shorts in the summer weather, the school had reportedly said, presumably as a joke, that the boys could wear skirts.

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"My 14-year-old son wanted to wear shorts," said one mother. "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 were school skirts."

Claire Lambeth said her 15-year-old son, Ryan, had complained about having to wear pants in the hot weather earlier that week.

"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," said Claire.

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"Ryan came up with the idea of wearing a skirt, so that evening we borrowed one," she said. "He wore it the next day -- as did five other boys. Then this morning ... 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."

The school's principal, Aimee Mitchell, acknowledged that the weather had been exceptionally hot.

"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," said Mitchell. "However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future."

Finally, after a four days of the protest and an estimated 50 boys wearing skirts, the school has issued a statement regarding the dress code, saying that it will allow shorts starting next school year.

"Shorts are not currently part of our school uniform for boys," read the statement. "However, as summers are becoming hotter, shorts will be introduced as part of our school uniform next year having first consulted with students and parents."

ISCA explained that changing the dress code midway through the school year "would put undue pressure on some of our families," but said that in the meantime until the change, "our summer uniform allows students not to wear their [sweater] or blazer."

"Also, [recognizing] the recent temperatures, students have also been allowed not to wear ties, to have the top button on their shirts undone, and to wear their shirts untucked if they are feeling very hot," said the school.

Sources: The Guardian, The Telegraph / Photo credit: Elizabeth Albert/Flickr, BBC/Apex via Guardian, Devon Live/SWNS.com via Telegraph

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