- @Tom News
- Mar-Apr 2017
New Zealand school has just completely scrapped gendered uniforms
Students can now wear trousers or skirts regardless of their gender under the new set of rules published by the school. It began when some female students complained they were not allowed to wear trousers. Now the school is to have five uniform options for students: shorts, long pants, culottes and a kilt, with students able to wear any of these, however they identify.
“We don’t say there’s a girls’ uniform and a boys’ uniform,” school Principal Heidi Hayward at Dunedin North Intermediate School, New Zealand, said. “Last year I had a couple of kids who challenged me. “They said: `Why do we have to wear kilts? You can wear pants. Why can’t we?’. “That seemed pretty logical to me. “It was 2016 and I thought it was odd that we still have these stereotypes. What we were hoping to avoid is making it hard.” One student who argued for the change said she thought the old rules were “sexist”. “I found it sexist that girls were told to wear skirts or kilts, and boys got to wear shorts or trousers,’ the student said.“It felt good that we now have choices. It is not really a big deal but it was about feeling comfortable, and we have that now.”
The head teacher said she hopes it encourages students to be themselves in school, and thus able to achieve their full potential.
“Hopefully the flow-on effect from this is kids at our school who are questioning their gender or sexuality, hear that message that it is ok and we value diversity and being comfortable in your own skin.”