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At One Private School, Boys Could Soon Wear Skirts

London school is considering gender-neutral uniforms
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2017 8:00 PM CDT
At One Private School, Boys Could Soon Wear Skirts
Children want to school in uniform in the UK.   (Getty Images/davidf)

(Newser) – Last year, a group of boys in the UK made headlines when they wore skirts to school after they were disciplined for wearing shorts on a very hot day. Now the private Highgate School in north London is considering a plan that would allow boys to do just that, reports the BBC, by transitioning its current uniform policy to a gender-neutral, mix-and-match approach. Boys currently have more limited options, as girls are permitted to wear gray pleated skirts or pants, as well as dark blue jackets and ties. "We are asking them, should it be called uniform number one and uniform number two?" says school head Adam Pettitt. The plan is taking some heat from former students, notes the BBC, who Pettitt says are complaining about "promoting the wrong ideas."

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The school says the issue has come up because more and more students are questioning their identities, as well as the traditionally binary view of gender. Pettitt says that "absolutely no young people" were raising the issue in years past, and it "seems inconceivable that these sorts of questions simply didn't exist." He adds that "it must be a good thing" if they "feel happier and more secure in who they are." The school currently requires boys to be at least 16 to wear earrings, reports the Telegraph, but it does allow one boy to wear a dress to school as well as all students to request to be addressed by a name of the opposite gender. Meanwhile, Brighton College has replaced its 170-year-old uniform with a gender-neutral one. (There's a transgender doll now, too.)

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