Summer Heat – Skirting the “No Shorts” School Policy

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What do you do when you are a male student and the temperatures rise to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and your school has a “No Shorts” policy? Some lads at the Isca Academy in Exeter, England decided to protest the school’s policy and showed up for classes wearing a skirt instead of their usual school uniform trousers. Little did they realize, however, that their protest might have initiated a trend of sorts. This is a hot trending topic on Twitter at the moment.

According to The Guardian, dozens of teenage boys turned up to school wearing skirts after their headteacher refused to relax the uniform code banning shorts despite the heatwave that has gripped Britain this week. The boys argued that it was too hot to wear long trousers and asked if they might be allowed to wear shorts instead. When their request was denied, a handful showed up for classes on Wednesday in school uniform skirts borrowed from friends and sisters. By Thursday, about 30 boys were wearing skirts.

The Guardian reports that one boy was told that his skirt was too short and his legs too hairy. Some of the boys took this into account and brought razors to shave their legs. One boy in year nine wearing a skirt said the protest had started with five boys wearing skirts but he expected “hundreds” to follow suit. When asked if he were enjoying the experience, he commented that he appreciated the “nice breeze.” Another boy said that it was “quite refreshing.”

Speaking about boys being allowed to wear shorts to school, the headteacher, Aimee Mitchell, said: “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. However, with the hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future.” None of the boys were penalized by being put in isolation or detention for wearing a skirt.

One mother said, “Children [also] don’t like injustice. The boys see the female teachers in sandals and nice cool skirts and tops while they are wearing long trousers and shoes and the older boys have to wear blazers. They just think it’s unfair that they can’t wear shorts in this heat.”