The 12-year-old wore a skirt to school yesterday to protest against ‘discriminatory’ rules which ban boys from wearing shorts.
He says it is unfair that girls can change into skirts during the hot weather, while boys have to swelter in long trousers.
The year 8 pupil, who lives in nearby Histon, added: ‘Wearing a skirt is just like wearing shorts with a gap in the middle. I don’t feel silly at all. I don’t embarrass easily.’
The 1,368-pupil school, which was classed as good in its last Ofsted inspection in 2006, imposed the ban two years ago after a consultation with parents and teachers. Its ‘Look Smart’ dress code states students must wear ‘plain black tailored trousers or knee-length skirts without slits’ – but does not specify gender. This means that while shorts are prohibited because they are not mentioned, girls – and boys – are free to wear skirts as long as they are ‘free moving, not tight against the legs’.
Chris borrowed a skirt from his sister Joanna, 11, and was accompanied by 30 supporters waving placards saying, ‘Cool shorts, not hot pants’, ‘Shorts for the long-term’ and ‘What’s wrong with my legs?’ And he said he intends to continue wearing the outfit.
His mother, Liz, 50, a maths teacher, said: ‘I’m delighted that Chris is taking action on what he believes in – which the school actually encourages, so he is only doing what he is taught.’
And his father, Brian, 48, who owns a publishing company, added: ‘It’s a creative and imaginative idea. I was worried about him getting picked on but he just shrugged his shoulders.’ Headmaster Robert Campbell said: ‘Our uniform policy does not state girls’ and boys’ uniforms because we can’t be discriminatory, so Chris is perfectly within his rights to wear a skirt.
An Equality and Human Rights Commission spokesman said: ‘It’s not possible to say if different uniform policies for boys and girls is or is not lawful, as it’s not been tested in the courts.’ But schools ‘should be flexible when considering students’ needs’, he added.
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