STUDENTS and parents are fuming after a public Mandurah high school banned girls from wearing shorts.
A new uniform was introduced at Halls Head College last year. On June 14 parents were told the dress code would be monitored and students required to comply from June 20.
When the college announced the changes, Rachel Foy wrote on Facebook: “I don’t understand why the girls can’t wear shorts, I find this sexist”.
Cheryl Peterson added: “I thought we were living in the 21st century. Not the 19th century. Why is it OK for the boys to wear shorts and not the girls? We are meant to live in an equal opportunity environment.
“The current school uniform is not that terrific. The school dress looks look a sack of potatoes on some girls. I would be more concerned about students’ academic ability and behaviour over the clothing they wear”.
A student called Amber also posted a response.
“I do not agree with the fact that us girls should have to wear skirts and skorts every day, when boys get to wear (shorts) without question,” she wrote.
“The school skirts are too restricting and the make is just horrible. They are made for only the smaller-sized girls and the bigger girls are left feeling self-conscious about what they are wearing.
“I wear my sport uniform to school every day because that’s what makes me feel comfortable. I wear it because I don’t have to constantly hold down my skirt whenever it is windy; when it is recess and lunch we want to kick the footy, we want to play basketball.
“For the younger girls to run in a skirt would be inappropriate and they would have to worry about it coming up.”
Principal Bronwyn White did not respond to the sexism claims.
“Our uniform invests pride in our community and it raises the bar on standards we expect. It also teaches our students the importance of adhering to dress codes, which they will be expected to do in the workforce,” she said.
“All families sign an agreement to abide by our dress code. We had two years of community consultation consisting of numerous surveys and multiple opportunities for feedback from all stakeholders.”
She said the uniforms were designed to be affordable and comfortable.
“While education remains our main priority, so too is instilling qualities and values that align to our students being the best they can be,” she said.
Following the uniform’s introduction in 2015, a community survey showed more than 75 per cent of parents approved of the new uniform for both boys and girls.