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School uniform and truancy. Please tell me it's none of my business.

(21 Posts)
ToeKneeChestNut Tue 19-Sep-17 20:12:10

I'm hoping I'm BU, because this is bugging me and I need to be told to let it go.

My cousin has two DC, one of whom is my (just had a birthday) fifteen year old niece.

She was sent home from school last Tuesday because her school trousers were too tight, fashionable, low cut, all that stuff. My niece "won't" wear acceptable, straight, plain trousers because she doesn't like them.

So, she went back into school the next day with the same trousers, and was sent home again. Incidentally her best friend was also sent home, but has since returned with appropriate uniform.

My niece hasn't been to school in over a week now. The school call my cousin and her husband and chase them over my niece's absences, but they say she won't go in until the school stop being "pathetic". They (the parents) seem to think that there's nothing they can do and the school should have more important things to deal with.

For some reason, I'm really pissed off about this. It's such an important year in her academic life and I can't believe they're allowing their daughter to play truant over a pair of trousers.

They have the money to buy new trousers, so that isn't the issue.

My cousin has, in the past, shown signs of very mild paranoia. For example, she's thought that strangers in shops were giving her "evils", and she says she has to watch what she says around her neighbours, because they don't like her. Neither of these things is true. I suspect she thinks the school staff have a problem with her personally, but I'm not 100% sure that she thinks this.

Anyway, please tell me to butt out. I'm very close to texting her to remind her that many jobs involve wearing potentially unflattering uniforms, and it's just something to get used to etc. I know this will not go down well though.

I'm BU, aren't I?

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Tue 19-Sep-17 20:16:12

Blatant disregard for rules will ultimately come back to bite dn on the bum. . The one that she so wishes to have hanging out of her trousers.
Her dps are setting her up for a big fall in the rl adult world by not making her follow the rules.

Wolfiefan Tue 19-Sep-17 20:17:13

Well no. She should just wear the bloody uniform and get an education.
Her parents need to realise what's important and send her into school in actual uniform.
But she's not your child and there's not a lot you can do. If you say anything you will just be told you're as "pathetic" as the school.

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Tue 19-Sep-17 20:21:02

Remind her that college can ask for references from school to get a place. She is jeopardising a lot more than the chance to flash her midriff.

falange Tue 19-Sep-17 20:24:03

There is nothing you can do but I understand your frustration. They obviously don't care enough to parent her properly or she'd be wearing the correct uniform. If she's off long enough they'll be getting fined. Maybe try reminding them of this?

SofiaAmes Tue 19-Sep-17 20:27:08

I think you should stay out of it. It's a different attitude to bringing up a child and it's not wrong, just different. And I'm concerned that you are hinting at your cousin being mentally ill as an excuse for butting in. If you were truly worried about her mental health, why didn't you try to get her help before. The moment when you disagree with her parenting choices is not the place or time to "help" her with her mental illness. It's disingenuous.
I do wonder though, why don't the parents send her to a school that doesn't have a uniform or at least such a strict uniform rule. Do they not exist in the UK?

I know that I'm in the minority here, but I HATE uniforms and the one year that my dd spent at a school with a uniform was the most stressful (and most expensive) for us with regard to clothing. Dd likes to repurpose clothes from goodwill and wears hand me downs and all sorts of creative things. She's been making her own clothes since she was 7. She knows how to dress appropriately when necessary and since she has been making her own choices about clothing for so long, she's got a very sophisticated understanding of the impression a particular outfit will give. I would much rather she hone these skills in school than out in the working world.

ToeKneeChestNut Tue 19-Sep-17 20:27:28

Thanks everyone. I just can't understand how her parents can allow her to do this.

Their elder DD was absent from (same) school so much that they were threatened with legal action. They said she suffered from stress.

It's so difficult.

Unfortunately, my niece was picked-on for wearing tight trousers last year, because she's obese. I therefore can't understand why she wants to do it again. I know this is besides the point, but the parents know all about this, so I thought they'd be glad to encourage her to wear less revealing clothing.

SofiaAmes Tue 19-Sep-17 20:28:20

Oh...could I just add that my dd is a straight A student despite her unwillingness to wear a uniform.

Pengggwn Tue 19-Sep-17 20:29:50

I am with you, OP, but they are the parents and she is old enough to understand that she is cocking things up for herself over a pair of trousers. If asked, I would simply say I think she should be in school in the correct uniform. If not asked, I wouldn't say anything at all.

ToeKneeChestNut Tue 19-Sep-17 20:33:49

Sofia, there's nothing disingenuous about it at all! How insulting! I mention it as that may partially explain how this situation has come about. She is not diagnosed (as far as I know) as suffering from any mental health condition. It's my observation only.

PopcornBits Tue 19-Sep-17 20:39:14

I have to be honest I'm also another one who is not a fan on uniforms and it does grate on me that schools will happily send kids home for wearing the incorrect uniform but then complain when children are absent for genuine purposes. It doesn't really make a lot of sense and the parents are after all the ones who are in charge of her education.

I don't think I could have kept mine off though, and allowed the school to chase up. I would have sent mine in and let them send her home. It's their choice to do that.

They could look at alternative schooling like PP said, but they don't really seem to be bothered about that, I think they're just trying to make a point and teach the school some kind of lesson?
You're right though that she will potentially have to wear something unflattering at some point.

Well it's her life isn't it, though I can see your frustrations.

CoughLaughFart Tue 19-Sep-17 20:46:04

I'm very close to texting her to remind her that many jobs involve wearing potentially unflattering uniforms, and it's just something to get used to etc. I know this will not go down well though.

Then really you have answered your own question. You know you're going to be told to butt out, so all you'll be doing is creating a rift between you and your cousin.

Subtlecheese Tue 19-Sep-17 20:47:26

She sounds insecure (the "evils" etc). That could be because she was objectified in school or being 15.
She has oddly supportive parents, perhaps suggesting they do find a school more supportive of their daughter as it's not working out.

HangingRock Tue 19-Sep-17 21:21:35

I think it's the mother who was talking about being given evils rather than the 15 year old.

SezziBaybee Tue 19-Sep-17 21:27:56

YANBU

echt Tue 19-Sep-17 21:47:38

Your update about the older DD's poor attendance tells you where the problem is. The parents. The younger DD will have seen her sibling's absence condoned by her parents. Why wouldn't she try it on?

You hint at fearful behaviour by the mum. Could she be encouraging them to stay at home as company?

Isadora2007 Tue 19-Sep-17 21:49:06

None of your business. Butt out.

GreenTulips Tue 19-Sep-17 21:55:00

I'm torn!

Trousers offer a lot more coverage that the tiny belts skirts a lot of DDs friends wears, yet DD has also been pulled up on too tight trousers which were fine at the beginning of the year and got steadily tighter as she grew

It does annoy me that schools want uniforms to be absolutly X but the shops sells Y, there needs to be some joined up thinking.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 19-Sep-17 21:55:35

Actually I would take a different view that the better marks she gets at school now, the less likely she is to need to wear a uniform when she is older. It might motivate her more than telling her that this is her life and get on with it.

Mittens1969 Tue 19-Sep-17 21:56:30

Echo, I think you may well be right that the OP's cousin might be encouraging her DD to miss school so that she has company during the day. It's a real shame as she, and her older sibling, have really missed out.

But sadly there's nothing you can do, OP. It's up to the school to deal with it.

LadyWire Tue 19-Sep-17 21:56:33

My DD's high school (she's left now) was very strict on uniform, hair etc. I really don't see the big deal in forcing a teenager to wear these pants instead of those pants but rules is rules and unfortunately we can't pick and choose which ones to follow, so these pants it is.

Saying that, I wouldn't bother trying to raise this with your cousin because it doesn't sound like you'll get anywhere. Poor kid.

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