Though a “trousers-only” dress code change for a secondary school in England may first appear to be a step back from woke pressures, the “more gender-neutral” update may, in fact, be a prescient sign of harsher authoritarian demands to come.
Tiverton High School (THS) is a state secondary school in Devon, England that, until Wednesday, had been supporting a rather “inclusive” adherence to its dress code policy. As headteacher Sammy Crook laid out in a letter to parents ahead of changes coming in September, “Our current policy has allowed girls to wear trousers…and boys have been able to wear skirts if they want to.”
Now Devon Live has reported that there was no consultation as THS moves to their “more gender-neutral uniform policy.”
In Crook’s letter, she hyped all of the benefits and considerations that were made as she wrote, “We will follow other secondary schools in implementing a more gender-neutral uniform policy. Parents/carers will be pleased to know that the majority of the uniform will remain as it is, with the exception that from September all students will be expected to wear trousers.”
Stephen Moakes, a parent of a student at THS decried the move, telling Devon Live, “As a parent, I have concerns about the proposed changes THS are making for September 2022. These have been made without any consultation with the pupils or parents and are simply being imposed.”
However, Crook defended the moves and explained to the outlet, “We never take decisions like this lightly and go through a detailed process over time in order to come to the right conclusions for our students and the school; decisions that meet our legal obligations, and the standards expected in secondary education. This change to uniform policy has the approval of our governors, and balances the demands placed on us in matters including standards of education, parental cost, inclusivity and student health.”
It was then that she revealed the true motive behind the change actually had more to do with the inability or unwillingness of administrators to enforce the current policies.
“By moving to ‘trousers only’ we have particularly responded to the ‘trend’ for girls in the school to abuse the current policy and wear approved skirts shorter than they should, in and out of school. The wearing of skirts shorter than knee length, which is our current policy, has attracted many complaints from the public and from visitors to the school,” Crook noted.
“It has proven time consuming and frustrating for staff to enforce in-school and is beyond our control out of school,” Crook admitted.
The changes also include updated start and end times for the school day and a cut to the duration of lunch breaks, but the dress code appeared to garner the most pushback. As was demonstrated by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz admitting he has unsuccessfully begged his employees to return to the office and as a result has had to “embrace” the “different view of the world” from Gen Z, the initial acceptance of trousers or skirts for all students is not something the woke will give up lightly.
The Daily Mail reported that a former representative for Reform UK, Angie Rayner, is calling for students to revolt against the policy and sue if they face repercussions. “What if a transgender from boy to girl wanted to wear a skirt? School would soon back down then!” Rayner wrote on social media. “Wear your skirts proudly girls then sue the school Tiverton High School and the Devon education authority if you get expelled!”
Moakes went on to add, “While I accept an element of rules and policies need to be made, I feel that as a school that encourages its pupils to be engaged and have a voice this seems to be a complete lack of democracy by not allowing the established pupil forums to have input.”
The reality of adherence to the ever-changing demands of the woke ideology is that soon enough an authoritarian hand will have to clamp down on expression in the name of equity and inclusion.
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