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New Zealand school gets rid of gendered uniforms

Now, students will have a choice between wearing a kilt, culottes, shorts, trousers or PE gear, depending on their preference.

Source: RNZ/YouTube

A SCHOOL IN New Zealand has got rid of rules that govern what uniform boys and girls have to wear – and given pupils their choice, regardless of gender.

Students at Dunedin North Intermediate can now wear their choice of a kilt, culottes, trousers, shorts, or a PE uniform.

Radio New Zealand reports that two students approached their principal Heidi Hayward to ask why girls in the school had to wear skirts. Hayward found she could not come up with a good reason for gendered uniforms.

So an initial decision was made to allow students to wear either the boys’ or girls’ uniform. This was later broadened to include a total of five options after some girls got teased for wearing the boys uniform, according to the Guardian.

“We’re not necessarily expecting that there will be a great onset of boys wearing skirts, but it still sends the message to them that it’s not actually a problem to wear what you feel comfortable in,” said Hayward.

The move is also an important one in showing pupils that it’s OK to be different when it comes to gender and sexuality.

“If they see that their school is accepting of difference, regardless of the fact that they may not be ready to be different, it’s really an important message from us that we see diversity,” said Hayward.

In the UK, new rules were brought in last year in state schools to allow students to wear either skirts or trousers, regardless of gender.

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