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Earlier this week, a group of Year 9 schoolboys marched to school in girl’s school skirts.

As the recent heatwave hit a school in Rottingdean, near Brighton, the school boys were punished for wearing shorts in lessons. In protest, 4 boys grouped together to parade the school skirts the girls can wear. This activism was supported by the boys’ parents, but condemned by the school.

In contrast, 2006 opened many debates in the UK around ‘gender neutral’ uniform policies to fight discrimination against LGBT+ pupils. These policies were introduced by eighty state institutions, including 40 primary schools, who either removed reference to ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ in their school dress codes, or rewrote their uniform policy to including female students allowed to wear trousers and school boys to wear skirts. Meanwhile, cross-culturally, Puerto Rico’s department of education in 2015 signed a new regulation allowing student to wear either trousers or skirts, according to their gender identity, as opposed to the gender they were assigned at birth.

HSPS and PBS student should discuss the identity implications of school uniform on the lives of LGBT+ students, specifically during their developmental years. Geography students should research the cross-cultural different perspectives of school uniforms. History students can trace the colonial background to school uniform around the world.

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