EDP Column, Make It Stop!

Sometimes a school rule is not a feminist attack

School uniform and rude gesture

A few weeks into the winter term and, as the weather starts to cool, hopefully tempers on some of the hot topics this summer have followed suit – like the school uniform debate and the feminist cause.

Much was made last term of school dress codes being an assault on the rights of girls and young women. That the problem with being scantily dressed in school was less to do with flouting the rules and more typically the problem of boys and teachers’ uncontrollable urges.

This undoubtedly has happened in some instances and is, of course, not to be tolerated. And we also can’t dismiss as any sort of sense the pedantic, frivolous nonsense that saw young girls being sent home on the flimsiest of perceived wardrobe malfunctions.

But my muse today is not that. My issue is with those who linked the school dress code and the feminist debate as a convenient smoke screen to just break the rules.

Even at the risk of having my own bra strap hoisted from me and slapped around my face, I’m calling time on this blurring of the issue this summer. Calling time on students, parents and caregivers blatently contravening school rules under the protection of political correctness gone beyond mad.

As parents, when we sign on the dotted line to join a school, we are aware of the rules of engagement. Pre this stage, we can vote with our feet (and our short skirts, and body piercings, and tattoos and colourful hair and, and, and) by not sending our children to an establishment where we are fundamentally at odds with its rules and policies.

Our children will face much the same issues when they join the world of work, so why don’t we give them a great gift now? The gift of learning to respect the rules of any house – and the assurance that, no, mummy and daddy will not come beat up a boss man (or boss woman) who asks them to dress appropriately for work.

HMS HerMelness Speaks