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8yo girls must wear shorts under skirts...

(341 Posts)
MyFirstMyLastMyEverythingBagel Wed 07-Sep-16 09:59:17

... In order to play on the bars in the school playground?!
My 8yo DD came home from school yesterday upset as she wasn't allowed to play on them - the teacher had said she needed to have shorts on as the boys would see her knickers.
I'm really upset by this, she is 8 years old and has a life time ahead of her to be worrying about modesty/body image without the school instilling it in her at 8. We've had a lovely summer, much of it spent splashing in the river / sea, DD totally in self aware in her knickers and a t shirt.
I'm actually pretty cross and plan to speak to the head about it, but want to know if iabu? How would you feel about it? My child is a child and I don't feel she should be made to feel self conscious about a brief knicker flash when she is playing.

myfavouritecolourispurple Wed 07-Sep-16 10:44:56

I would write to the school and say that in the 21st century it is not acceptable for rules to be set about what girls and women can wear. I have no issues with a uniform as long as there are no silly rules about girls not wearing trousers etc, but this is more than that.

If of course they let the boys wear skirts and ask them to wear shorts underneath, that's fine ;)

LunaLoveg00d Wed 07-Sep-16 10:45:10

We had this too before summer when doing cartwheels was the craze. One teaching assistant patrolling the playground and telling 6 year olds to put their gym shorts on. hmm Boys completely oblivious, playing football happily or running around chasing each other.

Blue4ever Wed 07-Sep-16 10:45:44

Speak to the school about it. If it's a uniform rule, then they should communicate it to all parents. And you don't have to follow the uniform rule in state schools.

If it's not a rule but the opinion of a midday assistant or a teacher, speak to the head about it.

In any case, you should make your opinion heard. What I don't agree with is that a member of staff said this to a child in front of other children, made her feel self conscious about what she is wearing. That bit is unacceptable too. The staff member should have sent you a note in book bag, but you do not stop a child to play because of a uniform issue.

MyFirstMyLastMyEverythingBagel Wed 07-Sep-16 10:45:56

Thank you all - I'm glad it's not just me.
For those asking, no girls can't wear uniform shorts anyway.
judy it was 27 degrees here yesterday, hardly the sort of weather where you need to have on two layers of clothing whilst running around playing!
Honestly I'm so cross, especially as the reason was stated to DD (boys will see your knickers) how dare that teacher put that thought into my 8 year old child's head. She just wants to play.

trafalgargal Wed 07-Sep-16 10:47:24

LDS (Mormon) children don't wear the garments its from puberty onwards (by which time most kids have outgrown random handstands in public anyway)

Body shaming and modesty are two entirely different things.

BaronessEllaSaturday Wed 07-Sep-16 10:47:32

TooExtraImmatureCheddar I'm with you, making girls wear shorts or trousers as the uniform is an easy answer but it is still the same thing forcing girls to wear something to prevent the boys from seeing their knickers rather than tackling the boys about their behaviour.

VioletBam Wed 07-Sep-16 10:48:30

Kick off about this OP. They are sexualising children AND they are victim blaming.

Making the girls wear double layers incase THE BOYS look at them!??

If they are that fucking bothered about it they can tell the boys they must NOT look.

Not the girls to change THEIR behaviour/outfits!!!

TheSparrowhawk Wed 07-Sep-16 10:51:16

I'd be absolutely steaming. Either the school provides a suitable uniform or they STFU about the current uniform! With all the hand wringing about children not getting enough exercise it is absolutely bonkers that a school is banning young girls from playing because of some ridiculous fear that a boy might see a pair of knickers!!

IloveAiredales Wed 07-Sep-16 10:51:22

It's fairly standard practice in my area, my daughters just put cotton cycling shorts under skirts/ dresses as standard as their school had this as a rule from reception up. They attended a strict catholic primary but I'm certain the community school had the same rules.

MLGs Wed 07-Sep-16 10:55:24

I would hit the roof, so you probably shouldn't listen to me, but go in and spell it out to them in a calm and sensible way that this is not acceptable.

For all the reasons PPs have said.

They are basically saying that girls can't use the monkey bars in the school uniform? Are they just for the boys then? (OK, I know they are saying they can use them in shorts, but this isn't part of the uniform).

Also it's sending out a terrible message that little girls' knickers are something to be ashamed of.

Any boys commenting, teasing, bullying etc (or any girls doing this to other girls) ought to be dealt with firmly and would be a good lesson that THIS behaviour is unacceptable.

AndNowItsSeven Wed 07-Sep-16 10:55:26

The issue is childrens genitalia should be covered, that is exactly the purpose of knickers ( or underpants). The school are being ridiculous.

WhoseBadgerIsThis Wed 07-Sep-16 10:55:30

Must admit I know nothing about this, but isn't it discrimination to not allow girls to wear shorts (ie instead of skirts) if the boys are allowed to wear them? I would be sending her to school in shorts (ie not skirt) from now on and telling them why

Brankolium Wed 07-Sep-16 11:00:29

Surely that means the school uniform isn't fit for purpose?

If the rule is that children can't expose their underwear then ALL children must have a suitable uniform that allows them to play without that happening, not for the poor girls to be policed at playtime and made to put gym shorts on.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Wed 07-Sep-16 11:01:07

My dd chose themselves to wear shorts under their skirts. They are 9+10.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 07-Sep-16 11:02:02

Does the school require shorts over swimsuits for school swimming lessons too?

Hockeydude Wed 07-Sep-16 11:02:42

I wouldn't get into battle with the school over it personally.

WuTangFlan Wed 07-Sep-16 11:03:53

As someone else upthread said, at our school the kids all get changed in the same room for PE! How do the boys cope seeing the girls knickers then!! (And what exactly is supposed to happen if a boy sees the girls knickers? What about when they do swimming, last time I checked girls swimming costumes didn't come with shorts?!)

Thornyrose7 Wed 07-Sep-16 11:04:59

Makes me bloody furious. What a terrible message to send out to children.
Can you get together with other parents and send a formal complaint?

Caffeinator Wed 07-Sep-16 11:09:42

YANBU. VioletBam put it better than I could.

lawn Wed 07-Sep-16 11:11:53

YANBU. Others have articulated the reasons brilliantly, just wanted to add my support. I'd be LIVID.

trafalgargal Wed 07-Sep-16 11:12:49

I don't quite understand the argument "I did PE in my vest and knickers" My memory is of hating have to strip down to v&k for PE and it was discontinued because it was no longer deemed appropriate for children. Do the no shorts and flash your knickers with gusto brigade also think we should also go back to v&k for PE just because the Kardashians flash their underwear on TV?

LozzaChops Wed 07-Sep-16 11:13:37

This is outrageous.

Are any other parents there cross about this? Mobilise! I'm absolutely certain that I would have been a lot fitter and more active, probably less chronically shy as a kid (and probably consequently as an adult) if this sort of bullshit didn't happen, I can't believe they can still get away with it now. Personally I'd have been happier in trousers at school, but I know some girls prefer skirts. Why are they not given the choice?

Are their facilities accessible to all of their pupils regardless of gender? No. They have a problem.

confuugled1 Wed 07-Sep-16 11:14:40

Wrong in so many ways as people have already said - but can't believe that they have a rule that girls can't use the monkey bars or do handstands etc without wearing shorts under their skirts - but that they also won't allow them to wear uniform shorts as a thing. Talk about contradictory!

Would be going straight to the head along the lines of 'please can you explain to dd, I'm sure she just misunderstood, that obviously in this day and age no school is going to be so ridiculously out of touch and discriminatory etc etc as to demand that girls can't play on the monkey bars etc in their uniforms when the boys can, please can you make sure that the lunch ladies make sure that they don't stop them...' and then when/if the head says that they need to wear shorts under their skirts, as you've already said how crazy that is, you can just stand there saying 'really? Really really? But that's ridiculous - [insert all the arguments from this thread as to why]' and see what happens...

I'd also be very tempted to make sure that the argument got phrased so that if the head didn't agree with you then you restate it saying that by not agreeing with [your argument], that means you are discriminating against girls and not enabling them to play fully in the playground when they are wearing their correct uniform. Of course this might then lead to them readjusting the uniform to make girls always wear shorts under their skirts but at least then it's out in the open and easier to protest about!

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 07-Sep-16 11:15:47

The Equality act does suggest that difference in male/female clothing rules are possibly reasonable, so long as they don't unfairly burden one sex more than the other. The example given is a more expensive female uniform, but not being able to use the playground equipment seems equally as unfair.

I would say it quite clearly falls as discriminatory under the act.

TinyTear Wed 07-Sep-16 11:17:52

im afraid my daughter likes to wear shorts under her dresses and it might be my fault... she went through a stage of lifting her dress up everywhere, buses, trains, the high street and i just kept telling her to put the dress down and said "no one wants to see your knickers"

now she always wants shorts under the dresses, or (even better) just loves her two skorts...

but i would never have complained about visible knickers in a cartwheel... it was just while standing in a bus queue!

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