Boys at an academy in England wore skirts to school in protest this week after being told they couldn’t wear shorts in hot weather.
Walking to school in plaid skirts borrowed from friends and sisters, the protesters shouted, “Let boys wear shorts!” the BBC reported.
Rules are rules, but they can always change, said Aimee Mitchell, headteacher at Isca Academy in Exeter.
“We recognize that the last few days have been exceptionally hot, and we are doing our utmost to enable both students and staff to remain as comfortable as possible,” Mitchell told British media.
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“Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys, and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families.
“However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future.”
Temperatures during the current heatwave have flirted with the 90s this week, making long pants unbearable, the boys complained.
“We’re not allowed to wear shorts, and I’m not sitting in trousers all day, it’s a bit hot,” one of the protesters told the BBC.
The boys were not the only ones to switch attire in protest. Joey Barge, a 20-year-old who works in a call center in England, decided he was sick of wearing pants in his hot workplace. Sent home Monday for wearing shorts, he returned in a dress.
A handful of boys wore skirts on Wednesday, but by Thursday the protest had grown to include dozens of boys.
School officials reportedly told one boy on Wednesday that his skirt was too short and his legs too hairy, so some of the boys shaved their legs.
One boy told the Guardian he appreciated the “nice breeze” he got from wearing a skirt.
Parents had already complained about the no-shorts rule. One mom said her son “almost passed out” from the heat, reported Devon Live.
“The weather has been so hot recently, and it’s got to the point where my son is suffering,” Claire Reeves told Devon Live.
“I have called the school several times, and they have told me that if I send my son to school in shorts then he will be sent to the isolation room all day and if I keep him off school then it’ll be an unauthorized absence.
“The girls are allowed to wear skirts all year round, so I think it’s completely unfair that the boys can’t wear shorts. Boys just don’t have the option, and I am just really concerned about how the heat is going to affect him.”
Apparently the boys got the idea for the protest from the headteacher herself.
One mom told the Guardian that when her son asked to wear shorts, the headteacher retorted, “Well, you can wear a skirt if you like.”
“I think she was being sarcastic,” said the mom. “However, children tend to take you literally, and because she told them it was OK, there was nothing she could do as long as they are school skirts.”