So, following on from the school skirts being too short thread, you'll never guess what I was told today

(126 Posts)
BerylStreep Sat 27-Jun-15 16:39:05

A friend told me today that the headmaster in her DD's primary school has issued a directive that all girls must wear tights all year round, and has personally briefed each class explaining that girls' legs should not be seen, and nor should their pants ever be visible. He was explicit that this was so that boys wouldn't see their legs or pants.

I'm shock and angry at this. So parents of girls are put to additional expense of buying tights, and girls are forced to wear hot tights during summer months. The message being given clearly to primary aged girls is that their bodies are sexual (including legs - horror), and that they are responsible for ensuring that boys don't get to witness such sexuality.

My friend wants to complain, and has asked me to help her write a letter of complaint. Can anyone help me compose a letter of complaint?

I'm tempted to advise my friend to write to the head in the first instance asking him to clarify the situation and the rationale for the policy, and await his response before she makes a formal complaint.

The head is completely bonkers btw. He is obsessed with appearance, having regular shoe inspections, and would single out any child for humiliation if they weren't wearing completely black shoes, and sends the VP on a regular basis to interrupt classes to conduct sock inspections - sometimes twice in the same day hmm.

Any thoughts on what I should suggest in a letter of complaint / who should be copied into the complaint?

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 27-Jun-15 16:48:32

It's not advisable at all to wear tights all year round, some women/girls it's better not to wear them at all.

Is this a state primary school?

Are the girls allowed to wear shorts / trousers / culottes?

He is totally out of order obviously.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 27-Jun-15 16:49:57

In all honesty if our school said girls have to wear skirts with tights all year round through primary school I'd be moving them. I mean a it's ridiculous from a health/comfort POV and b with his attitude I'd be worried about having girls at that school being exposed to them. Or boys I guess but I have girls.

paxtecum Sat 27-Jun-15 16:52:28

Complain to the governors and ofsted.

Daily Mail might be interested grin

YonicScrewdriver Sat 27-Jun-15 16:55:26

Wearing rights all the time can lead to thrush, right? Not sure if that's true pre-pubescent but worth checking.

I would actually consider the governors and Ofsted for this one if the "stopping boys looking" concept is being openly cited. I would be very uncomfortable with this mentality being expressed by the head of my child's school.

tidalwaveover Sat 27-Jun-15 16:56:13

I'd be pulling them out of the school too (if this story and rationale are correct).

My DD suffers from recurrent UTIs and I've been told by the Dr to try not to put her in tights.

That's quite aside from the issue of restricting pre-pubescent girl's freedoms due to a male gaze.

BerylStreep Sat 27-Jun-15 16:59:39

It is a state primary, with a lot of the parents on a low income.

My friend was extremely pissed off when she had to buy new shoes in June last year, as the pink detailing on her DD's black shoes was deemed to be unacceptable. Although she knew the uniform policy wasn't enforceable, she couldn't bear to see her DD humiliated. The full school was gathered during assembly, and anyone who didn't have completely all black shoes were lined up in front of the whole school.

If it had happened to my child, I would have gone fucking ballistic kicked up a massive fuss, but my friend just wanted a quiet life. This, however, seems to be the final straw for her.

BerylStreep Sat 27-Jun-15 17:02:53

A letter has been sent home outlining the new rules, and my friend's DD (who is Year 5) and reliable conveyed about the head coming into each class and what he said.

My friend checked with another parent, who's DS, in another class was able to repeat exactly the same story.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:03:13

WTF? Sounds awful confused Little children aren't in control of what they wear to school. So he lined up a bunch of 4-10 yo in front of the school to humiliate them?

I wouldn't send my children to a school like that it's not my idea of a good time at all.

YonicScrewdriver Sat 27-Jun-15 17:03:39

Is there a trousers/shorts option?

If the boys can wear shorts it's even more hypocritical!

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:04:27

So he has told 4yo they need to cover their bodies because male people mustn't see them?

I'm..... what??????

YonicScrewdriver Sat 27-Jun-15 17:04:33

Is there any religious aspect to this?

BerylStreep Sat 27-Jun-15 17:06:19

Apparently they can wear skirt, pinafore or trousers - no shorts.

BerylStreep Sat 27-Jun-15 17:07:49

Yonic it's a catholic primary, but with a massively diverse intake.

YonicScrewdriver Sat 27-Jun-15 17:09:18

Please get all the boys to turn up in skirts and no tights

Please get all the boys to turn up in skirts and no tights

Please get all the boys to turn up in skirts and no tights

Please get all the boys to turn up in skirts and no tights

(Yes, not realistic but I can dream!)

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:09:59

Gotta be trousers then hasn't it.

I can't imagine many grown-ups will dress their children in tights through the summer. They'll all be really uncomfortable and then there's thrush confused of course I guess that's not at the forefront of his mind being a bloke.

Love51 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:10:33

It doesn't solve the problem of the awful attitude, but I thought schools were not allowed to.discriminate on grounds of gender or sex. Depending on the child's disposition, would a group of girls just go in the 'boys' uniform? I would at that age but was very.thick skinned! No way are tights a good choice for summer uniform.

Love51 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:11:44

slow typer, hadnt seen.trousrers ok

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:12:45

Schools can discriminate on sex when it comes to clothing. It is legal to do so.

TheReluctantCountess Sat 27-Jun-15 17:15:47

Put them in trousers then.

Momagain1 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:21:28

That is absolutely unacceptable!
But sorry, I have no suggestions on wording for letter beyond that.
His overall uniform attitude needs a swift adjustment, especially in area of low income.

Instilling group pride via uniform is one thing, humiliating and basing directives on adult fetishes is right out.

BerylStreep Sat 27-Jun-15 17:22:36

So, this letter. Am thinking of:

1. Health issues - thrush, discomfort in warm weather
2. Cost issues
3. Concern that the message being given to primary aged children is that their bodies, including legs, are seen as being sexual; and also the message that it is the girls' responsibility to cover up to prevent 'boys looking'.
4. Ask to be sighted on the equality assessment that was conducted prior to new policy
5. Ask that the policy be rescinded with immediate effect (although this doesn't really address the fact that the head has already been around every class telling the girls to cover up).

Thinking of copying to Chair of governors, school governing body (similar to LA) and Equality Commission.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:23:48

Yes job done.

No worries at all about a head who lines children up in front of the school to show them up for having the "wrong" shoes even though said shoes were bought by their parents

And telling primary age girls that "girls legs must not be seen" or indeed their pants so no cartwheels / handstands / sitting crosslegged (?) / hanging upside-down on the climbing stuff either I would assume.

The boys are allowed to wear shorts though (?) so it's just girls legs that must not be seen. What a thing to tell young children.

YonicScrewdriver Sat 27-Jun-15 17:26:26

I think it's no shorts for either Whirlpool though assume allowed for PE.

jelliebelly Sat 27-Jun-15 17:28:11

I wouldn't bother with a letter I'd take them to another school.

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