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Looks like the hottest, er, coolest articles of clothing this summer for England boys and young men alike are actually dresses and skirts.
After one U.K. man wore a dress to work to protest a pants-only policy that prevented him from wearing shorts, a group of boys from a school for ages 11-16 in Exeter, England, have followed suit in their fellow students’ skirts.
According to BBC News, about 30 boys from the ISCA Academy wore skirts to school on Thursday after being told they weren’t allowed to modify their uniforms with shorts.
Boys at Isca Academy in Exeter wear skirts to school in protest at not being allowed to wear shorts in hot weather. pic.twitter.com/XHrffnSQEN— Simon Hall (@SimonHallNews) June 22, 2017
Per the uniform guidelines for hot weather, male students are allowed to wear pants, and female students can wear pants or skirts. Students are allowed to remove their ties and untuck their shirts in class, but ties must be carried with them, and shirts must be tucked in when they leave the classroom.
One anonymous mom with a son at the school told Devon Live that he wanted to show up to school in shorts because of the heat, but was told he would be put in an isolation room for the rest of the week.
“The weather has been so hot recently and it’s got to the point where my son is suffering,” another parent, Claire Reeves, said to Devon Live. “The girls are allowed to wear skirts all year round so I think it’s completely unfair that the boys can’t wear shorts. Boys just don’t have the option and I am just really concerned about how the heat is going to affect him.”
Boys told BBC News that they decided to stage the protest after Aimee Mitchell, the head teacher, told them sarcastically that they could wear skirts. So on Wednesday, five boys came to school in uniform skirts for female students.
“The head teacher told them, ‘Well you can wear a skirt if you like,’ but I think she was being sarcastic,” the first anonymous parent said. “However children tend to take you literally and so five boys turned up in skirts today—and because she told them it was OK there was nothing she could do as long as they are school skirts.”
While one of the first five boys did get in trouble for his skirt being too short, the protest grew to 30 boys literally skirting the uniform policy the next day.
Most tweets supporting boys at Devon school wearing skirts to lessons in protest at not being allowed to put on shorts in heatwave. pic.twitter.com/POWm2oTUVj— Simon Hall (@SimonHallNews) June 22, 2017
The boys said they hoped their uniform change would push the administration to reconsider the shorts ban.
“We recognize that the last few days have been exceptionally hot and we are doing our utmost to enable both students and staff to remain as comfortable as possible,” Aimee Mitchell, the head teacher, told BBC News. “Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families. However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future.”
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.