In Oxfordshire, England, a secondary school named Chiltern Edge has made the decision to ban students from wearing shorts, instead telling them to wear “gender neutral” skirts.
The move was made shortly after the school was labeled “inadequate” by Ofsted, a government organization with the job of maintaining educational standards in Britain. It appears that as the school has the capacity to seat 900 pupils, they were only able to enroll 507 in January of last year.
In response, the school’s dress code has been made fairly strict, banning jeans and jewelry, but allowing religious garments such as hijabs. It appears that shorts are still allowed in PE, but not during any other school time.
In addition, the school sent out a letter to the parents of Chiltern students, arguing that “everything possible will be done to safeguard the education and progress of our students.”
Although the temperature is soaring to around 79 degrees (Fahrenheit) in Britain, male students are still not allowed to wear shorts as they have been explicitly banned from school uniform. However, if any boys don’t want to wear skirts they can simply wear long trousers in the high heat.
“In September 2017 Chiltern Edge, with the support of parents, made the decision to move to a more formal uniform. This has been successful. Shorts are not part of our uniform.” – Chiltern Edge School
The school has not given a reason as to why shorts have been banned leading up to summer, but the decision follows a trend in the UK as schools adopt more gender-neutral uniforms to make transgender students feel more welcome.
Some parents are simply satisfied that their kids have an alternative to blazers and trousers during the hotter months of the year.
“I know that in the past other schools have worn skirts so I asked if my son was able to do that – and the school said yes. It’s nuts to make the kids wear blazers and ties when it gets very hot.” – Parent Joanne Muday
However, others are not happy about the transition. Alastair Vince-Porteous, the parent of a male student at Chiltern, asked if his son could wear tailored shorts instead, but was told that shorts are not part of the new dress code.
“I was told shorts are not part of the uniform. It’s a shame we can’t be more grown up about it, we aren’t asking for ra-ra skirts or skinny jeans, just grey tailored shorts for two months a year, it’s not a big deal.” – Alastair Vince-Porteous
It isn’t clear why the decision was made, but some are speculating that the British government is pushing schools to adopt policies which further the intent of the UK Equality Act of 2010, with the goal to “legally protect people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.”
The law claims to defend individuals with ‘protected characteristics‘ such as age, transsexuality, race, sex, and sexual orientation against forms of harassment including “unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them”.
It seems as though forcing male students to wear traditionally female articles of clothing would be included in the law, but the issue has not yet been taken to court.
As boy scouts have been transitioned into a “gender-inclusive” organization and the Miss America Organization has dropped the swimsuit portion of their events despite being the founding element of the show, a growing number of people are beginning to believe that the equality movement has gone too far.
This article (British School Bans Shorts, Instead Forces Boys to Wear Skirts for “Gender Neutrality”) originally appeared at PhillipSchneider.com and may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author credit, and this copyright statement.