The 16-year-old boy said it was impossible to wear dark trousers as per the dress code, especially with the temperatures soaring.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 11, 2021. It has since been updated.
Shane Richardson was one among many boys who were sent home for wearing shorts, so the teenage boy wore a skirt to school to protest the school's dress code, which called for students to either wear dark trousers or a skirt in warm weather. The 16-year-old boy borrowed a skirt from his younger sister and wore it to school to register his protest, in an incident in Scotland. According to Moffat Academy's uniform policy, students are only allowed to wear dark trousers or a skirt. Shane said the dress code of the school wasn't written to account for the warm weather. His mother, Hayley, felt something was going to give, as the temperatures rose. "On Tuesday this week, Shane said to me: 'Mum, can I get a skirt?'," she said, reported BBC.
Shane said many boys at the school had planned on wearing skirts because the school policy didn't allow them to wear shorts. "Every single year when the weather gets hot, the boys go to school in shorts," said the boy's mother. "All of a sudden this rule is being hammered into the school. The last two days when it has been super hot they have just sat in class and it is almost like sitting in a greenhouse," said Shane's mom.
With Shane's protest gaining media coverage, the Moffat Academy has scheduled a meeting to discuss the policy. The boy's mother called for the meeting to be held as early as possible considering the students will be suffering until then. She added that the policy change won't be effective by then. "This is Scotland, by the time that meeting comes it is going to be snowing."
A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council said that the Moffat Academy dress code had been in place for several years and added that they were reconsidering their dress code. "Feedback from young people, parents and carers to the school has indicated that it is time to review the policy and make changes," he said. "Whilst this engagement is ongoing, pupils have been reminded to adhere to the agreed policy which enables the school to maintain high standards and excellence before any changes are finalized.
Hace 20años sufrí persecución e insultos xmi orientación sexual en el instituto en el q ahora soy profesor, muchs profes, miraron para otro lado. Quiero unirme a la causa del alumno, Mikel, q ha sido expulsado y enviado al psicólogo por ir a clase con falda. #LaRopaNoTieneGenero pic.twitter.com/5PEN9vityY— Jose Piñas (@joxepinas) November 9, 2020
Dress codes in school have been a flashpoint in different parts of the world. In 2020, teachers of a Spanish school wore skirts to class in solidarity with a boy who was expelled for wearing a skirt to class. As we reported, not only was 15-year-old Mikel Gómez expelled from school in Bilbao but he was also referred to a psychologist for wearing a skirt, implying that he had mental issues. The student said he had worn a skirt to break gender norms and show his solidarity with feminists and trans people. After he was expelled, he uploaded a video calling out the school. After he was expelled, hundreds of boys wore skirts to protest the decision to expel Gómez. It had become a full-fledged movement with students and teachers all over the country wearing clothes stereotypically deemed feminine.
Similarly, a man in Germany made a statement by wearing skirts to work, reminding everyone that clothes aren't gendered. Mark Bryan, an American robotic engineer, is straight and a happily married guy. As we reported, he also loves wearing high heels and skirts and has been wearing them for three years now. The father-of-three started wearing skirts on the recommendation of his wife and he loved it. "I was already wearing high heels with pants, sometimes women's pants. My wife asked why I wouldn't wear a dress or a skirt, that I have nice legs to show," said Bryan. "I choose skirts only, as dresses seemed too feminine, with the shoulders and necklines. So I adapted to my hybrid look! Men's clothes above the waist and women's clothes below."