A school in England has banned its students from wearing skirts because they “are distracting male teachers and pupils.”
Trentham High School in Staffordshire, has agreed to make changes to the dress code after several reports of students coming to class in clothing that “barely covers their bottoms,” the Daily Mail reported.
Headmistress Dr. Rowena Blencowe said students left her no choice are failing to comply with dress code regulations, asking them to wear their skirts at knee length. She said teachers were spending more time telling students to roll down their skirts than actually teaching them.
“Now it's just a constant nag. Girls are coming in with skirts that just cover their bottoms — it's totally inappropriate.
“Girls with the right length skirts are just rolling them up. We tell them in form period to roll them down, but by first break they're back up again.
"It's not pleasant for male members of staff and students either, the girls have to walk up stairs and sit down and it's a complete distraction.
“After a while it stops being a uniform issue and starts becoming a safeguarding issue.”
Blencowe said the problem has been going on for years and they’ve tried several times to remedy the issue to avail.
“Girls in year seven, and possibly year eight, tend to abide by the rules, but as they get older the skirts get shorter,” she explained. “If a skirt is too short, the student is warned and a length of time is agreed for the issue to be resolved, but girls are still coming in with consistently short skirts.
She said the school had called parents, sent girls home and also bought new skirts for some students.
Starting in September, female students will have to wear “businesslike trousers.” Blencowe says the decision was fully supported by both staff and school governors.
“We did the same with clip-on ties two years ago,” Blencowe added. “Now, we don't have to worry about students having their ties done up properly and their top buttons being done up.
“The ban won't apply to staff, but we do have high expectations across the school.”
Feelings toward the new dress code are mixed among parents and students.
“The new uniform looks really good and is practical,” said 15-year-old Katie Palmer. “I always wear trousers and most of my friends are not fussed about it.”
A 16-year-old classmate disagreed: “In this heat it is impractical and really uncomfortable to wear trousers —we are not boys and we want to wear skirts.”
“It is a shame for the girls who like to wear skirts and abide by the rules on skirt length, but overall I am OK with the decision,” said Julie Jones, 48, whose 13-year-old daughter attends the school. “The teachers are probably fed up of spending time talking to children about the length of their skirts rather than teaching.”
But Janet Thomson, 40, felt differently: “I can't see what the problem is. This has been going on for years even when I was a teenager. These are not primary school girls — they are becoming young women and should be allowed to wear skirts."
The mother of two added: “I agree there is a point where it becomes inappropriate but to ban skirts altogether is little draconian to say the least.'”