Four teenage boys have worn skirts to school in protest at being disciplined for wearing shorts on the hottest day. Some were sent home, and others kept in isolation and excluded the next day. When the four boys turned up in school skirts on Thursday, head teacher Kate Williams said they could "wear any part of the agreed school uniform". The mother of year-old Michael Parker, who was one of the group, said three of the boys were initially told to remove the skirts, but all four of them kept them on. Angela Parker said they wore them to school again on Friday, and were joined by a further 10 boys. The PE shorts worn by the boys on Tuesday were an official part of the uniform, bearing the school logo. Pupils who changed out of the shorts and back into trousers were not disciplined. In a statement on Tuesday, Ms Williams told The Argus : "Students have access to water in order to keep themselves hydrated. We have made reasonable steps to ensure that classrooms are as comfortable as possible. Another of the pupils, Kodi Ayling, said he put his trousers back on as he did not want to be excluded from school, but when he wore the skirt, Ms Williams "okayed it and said it was alright".
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The large huddle of schoolgirls are coming out of the National Museum at Collins Barracks after a visit earlier this year. Walking behind them you can almost see the goosebumps on their legs from 20 paces as the wind whips at the edges of their maroon uniforms. Sheltering at the Luas stop together, I wonder if the girls, who seem smart, fun and well-behaved — from Loreto Foxrock, their crests say — have the choice of trousers in their uniforms. This was well BC Before Covid but with schools back at last and facing into winter, the issue will emerge again. It brings me back to an abiding memory of school: the misery of chill winds, bare legs exposed in mid-winter, the constraints on free movement to save my blushes — and the world from the sight of my knickers. While a growing number of Irish schools allow girls to wear trousers, many secondary schools appear to stick with traditional notions of what is appropriate for young women, whereas some primary schools have adapted to demands for more comfort, sometimes after pupil agitation.
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