Uniform Blues…

Another school term, another fuss over uniform requirements and another case where you wonder who is the adult, and who the child:

Holly-Mae Donaldson, 13, was told to go back to her Hester’s Way home on the first day of term because her skirt conflicted with the academy’s uniform code.

Diane Donaldson, from Lee Close, called the decision to ban her daughter from classes “appalling”, and said she was disgusted by the way her daughter had been treated.

Of course she is. I mean, it’s not like she knows the rules or should be expected to follow them, is it? She’s special, clearly.

“The school really needs to concentrate more on the education, and less on the pupils’ uniform.
“I think she is old enough and sensible enough to decide what she wants to wear to school.”

Well, she’s not. She’s a child and so doesn’t get to make those decisions.

As you can tell from the thinly-veiled patience shown by the headmaster’s statement, he’s been down this road before:

Principal Peter Kingham said: “We have been very clear with our students about uniform expectations.

“We have demonstrated what is acceptable and what is not. We have had assemblies on this and written to parents.

“We have a parents’ forum where issues such as this can be raised and we encourage parents to join this.

“Alongside this. we have a procedure for any complaints from parents that we encourage them to follow whenever necessary. “

Which, I’m sure, doesn’t include running straight to the press?

Mind you, over the water, they have a rather … umm, different issue with school uniform:

The school district in Little Rock, Ark. has announced plans for a dress code that will require teachers to wear underwear. Every single day. Female teachers will have to wear bras, too.

I’ll just leave that one there…

H/T: Protein Wisdom

17 comments for “Uniform Blues…

  1. Mona
    September 15, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Well Julia you have been well and truly indoctrinated into the frankfurt school of behaviour, to develop fixed habits of response to authority so we end up with a servile,obediant and docile workforce, control,thats what you want isnt it.

    • September 15, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Free choice is for adults. Children need guidelines and boundaries so that they grow up into adults who are capeable of free choice.

      Children certainly don’t decide for themselves to ignore uniform rules

  2. The Jannie
    September 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Given the hold some children have over their parents it makes sense to have a dress code which doesn’t include £150 trainers or £300 fashion jackets. Maybe in Mona’s world the little treasures don’t suffer from IWANT IWANT IWANT.

    • Mona
      September 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      The young lady in question was sent home, why? what was she supposed to do during that wasted day wander the streets looking to be groomed by some predator? so many ifs and buts in this story.

  3. Tedious Tantrums
    September 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    There is not a shred of evidence anywhere which shows that uniforms play any sort f beneficial part on schooling.

    Teachers are there to teach. Pupils are there to learn and what they wear is their and their parents business. We need individuals who do not follow conformity. Schools are full of conformity and indoctrination.

    Let children explore who they are and what works for them. Let them be who they want to be.

    We have clones we don’t need or want clones we want people who will question, explore and have imagination .

    I like your posts Julia but perhaps not this one.

    • September 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      I remember uniform being a huge benefit as a barrier between those that had and those that did not…

      My parents were poor and could not afford every latest fashion item or accessory… I remember distinctly at a very early age being in the changing rooms for gym and the other boys teasing me because my underwear came from some ‘unapproved’ source (Tesco Home & Wear?)…

      I don’t think school would work as well if some kids were wearing Armani suits while others were wearing faded jeans…

      But then I went to Bog Street Comprehensive – perhaps it is different elsewhere…?

      • Voice of Reason
        September 15, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        I had similar experiences in the early 70’s, and I mostly went to grammar school.

    • September 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      TT, personally I agree with you about the principle of uniform in general, but, once the rules are set, they need to be seen to be obeyed.

      Having said that, I disagree with the policy of sending pupils home – especially since the ones who break the rules are often likely truant prospects – or putting them in isolation; it sends completely the wrong message about attending lesssons. Depriving them of privileges or free time is more appropriate.

      It’s a war you can’t win and pupils (and their parents) will always find a way round; in one school where I worked, in a very deprived area, we could not assume that pupils had more than one of any uniform garment so, if anything was damaged, they were give two week’s grace to replace it. Naturally, a significant number would routinely damage their shoes or clothes and spent the next fortnight in a bewildering array of designer brands.

      All you can try and do is ensure it doesn’t distract them from the far more important matter of learning.

      Meanwhile, since running to the press seems to be the done thing, we have been treated to several examples recently, including a haircut of surpassing awfulness – I like to imagine how the boy will react to seeing the relevant photo in ten years time.

      My favourite, has to be, from the school where 30 pupils were sent home on the first day, this tale of woe:

      Mother-of-six Gaenor Beaumont’s 15-year-old daughter Holly was sent home because she had used an eyebrow pencil.

      Mrs Beaumont, 36, of Swanscombe, Kent, said: ‘I think the new head was just trying to make a point on the first day. She is a law unto herself.

      Holly wasn’t even let in through the doors on Friday when she arrived. She has to draw on her eyebrows because they didn’t grow back when she plucked them.

      A girl of her age doesn’t want to walk around without any eyebrows.’


  4. September 16, 2013 at 7:47 am

    It’s easier in an independent school because pupils are not taken in unless parents agree to the rules first.

  5. Furor Teutonicus
    September 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

    If they are so undiciplined as to not to be able to follow a simple uniform rule, what the fuck chance do they think they are going to have getting through the first day of any JOB that may come their way?

  6. Furor Teutonicus
    September 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

    XX I worked, in a very deprived area, we could not assume that pupils had more than one of any uniform garment…….Naturally, a significant number would routinely damage their shoes or clothes and spent the next fortnight in a bewildering array of designer brands.XX

    Aha. So not so “Poor and depraved” that they can not spend 100’s of quid of some “designer” shit then?

    • Viscount Rectum
      September 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Now thats very spitefull of you furor, you must use the word “shit” wisely, that epithet must saved for the more deserving such as the present corporate Government. I have been in a lot of shit myself but I knew how to get out of it.

    • Voice of Reason
      September 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      We didn’t have much more than one item of uniform. We also couldn’t afford the designer stuff either (although I’m not sure it even existed then).

  7. September 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I’m really surprised to see this post on a site purportedly dedicated to issues of liberty: generally, the requirement for blind adherence to rules is a mark of totalitarianism.

    From womb to grave, the state and its agencies are interfering in and over-regulating every aspect of our lives to an almost infinitesimal degree – and this blog is normally rightly exercised by such matters. But for some reason, when young people rebel against something they regard as authoritarianism for authoritarianism’s sake, many of us seem to take the side of the authority and condemn the youngsters and their parents for not subscribing to the ‘rules are rules’ mantra.

    Pointless rules do not lead to discipline but to subservience. No wonder we British are ‘everywhere in chains’.

  8. Ed P
    September 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Her mother has the same surname, but lives elsewhere. Yet she’s “disgusted” by the school’s clear and well-explained policy. Maybe she’s really disgusted by her own lack of control and involvement in her daughter’s life?

  9. September 17, 2013 at 6:42 am

    PTB? Frankfurter School? Hey come on. A uniform used to be wanted by the ‘poor & downtrodden’ so that their kiddies’ rags would not be mocked.

    Of more moment is the requirement for women teachers to wear some knickers for crying out loud. What a state we are in when female teachers lack of underpants can be noticed even by Higham Minor at the rear of the class. There is arse ( and more) in the class when she reaches up to put yet another rule of grammar at the top of the blackboard.

    • Viscount Rectum
      September 17, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Frankfurter school has morphed into common purpose, schoolboys may come to school to ogle the teachers butt they are on the right track

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