. . . Sade Tuttle was rounded up with a group of girls after a uniform inspection at a school assembly, and she says she had no problem with making her school uniform skirt longer until she was told why.
“Basically we were told that the skirts needed to be lowered to below our knees or we would be given detention after school,” she says.
When I was at high school our gym frocks (was there ever a less practical and more unattractive uniform?) were supposed to touch the floor when we knelt.
They often didn’t and we also had to wear a braided girdle our house colour. This we did, slung low on our hips and on some that wasn’t much higher than some of the hems.
Fast forward a few decades and schools were unhappy about the fashion that led to kilts almost at ankle-level.
However, in this story, it’s not the hem length but the explanation for the rule that is causing the controversy:
The reason? Sade says deputy principal Cherith Telford told the group it was to “keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for male staff”.
For Sade and her fellow year 11 student, Jazmyn Green, it was those two comments that upset them.
“The rules themselves aren’t the problem; the problem is when these codes target girls specifically because their bodies are sexual and distracting,” says Sade.
Henderson High School is a decile three school in west Auckland. It has gone through a remarkable transformation under the helm of current principal Mike Purcell. . .
Several of the parents that spoke to Newshub believe Mr Purcell is doing a great job, but they’re unhappy with the way the issue of the uniform’s skirt is being handled.
“Henderson High School has rules relating to the wearing of school uniforms,” Mr Purcell says in a statement released to Newshub.
“These rules are not new and all families are made aware of them when they enrol. They include a stipulation that the hemline of female students’ skirts must be on the knee, no higher.
“The uniform is practical for school wear and these rules are regularly enforced to ensure that all students can focus on their learning and feel comfortable in the school environment. . .
I back a school to have any reasonable rules about a dress code for pupils and the hemline requirement isn’t unreasonable in itself.
But the explanation supposedly given by the DP belongs to other times and places not in 21st century New Zealand. It’s that sort of reasoning that puts women in burkas and neither our culture nor our laws hem women in like that.
If male pupils and teachers are distracted by shorter hems it is they who have and are the problem.