Chris Whitehead is not afraid to put his foot down. Even if he extends that foot from beneath a skirt. The 12-year-old boy was fed up with the uniform requirements of Impington Village College, a private school near Cambridge, because he felt they were discriminatory. So he decided to make a statement.
You see, the weather has started to turn, and while the school’s uniform code provides relief for young ladies in the form of a skirt, it provides no such relief for the lads who must wear pants. And Chris didn’t think that was fair.
So what did Chris do when the warmer weather rolled in? Used his head and show some leg. An article in the Daily Mail explains exactly how:
“The 1,368-pupil school, which was classed as good in its last Ofsted inspection in 2006, imposed the ban two years ago after a consultation with parents and teachers. Its ‘Look Smart’ dress code states students must wear ‘plain black tailored trousers or knee-length skirts without slits’ – but does not specify gender.”
Suddenly Chris realized that he could get his point across without breaking any rules by simply rocking a skirt. The whole story reminded me of the one here in the States about a boy who wore a pair of pumps to class. Even though it wasn’t against the dress code, the boy was kicked out of class. Teachers and administrators grew concerned when his classmates started picking on him. (As Meredith asked in her original post, however, wouldn’t it have made more sense to throw the bullies out of class?)
But Chris wasn’t worried about getting bullied. “Wearing a skirt is just like wearing shorts with a gap in the middle,” he said in the interview. “I don’t feel silly at all. I don’t embarrass easily.”
So what did Robert Campbell, Chris’ headmaster, have to say about the matter? “Our uniform policy does not state girls’ and boys’ uniforms because we can’t be discriminatory, so Chris is perfectly within his rights to wear a skirt. What he has done is raise the issue in an entirely legitimate way. I think it will be right to start thinking about uniform again in September.”
(Any chance of getting Campbell to talk to the clowns running the school of the boy who wore the pumps?)
Kudos to Chris. His outside-the-box thinking was a respectful way to bring about change. It’s fantastic that he had the self confidence to do it.
Don’t Say Sorry: Why I’m removing that word from my kid’s vocabulary