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New Zealand School Scraps Gendered Uniforms

'We didn't do a great deal of navel gazing about it. It just sounded reasonable really.'

24/03/2017 8:28 AM AEDT | Updated 24/03/2017 10:28 AM AEDT
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Students have five options which they can pick from regardless of their gender.

A New Zealand primary school has done away with gendered uniforms and is giving students the option to wear whatever they like, regardless of their sex.

Students at Dunedin North Intermediate can now choose between a kilt, culottes, trousers, shorts or a PE uniform.

The move came after complaints were made by female students in 2015 to the principal, who asked why they had to wear the traditional kilt.

"I went away and had a think about it and thought, that seems reasonable," Principal Heidi Hayward said.

Tom Merton
Options include a kilt, culottes, trousers, shorts or a PE uniform.

Hayward has said that she is perplexed at the media attention that the change has received, telling The Guardian that the reaction from students at the school had been relatively low-key.

"Really there's nothing ground-breaking, we're just saying these are the uniform options, pick what you feel comfortable in," she said.

"I would take offence to being told I had to wear a skirt to work every day because I am female, so this is about being responsive to the kids telling us we are perpetuating gender stereotypes, and what is going on in society at the moment.

"Hopefully the flow-on effect from this is kids at our school questioning their gender or sexuality, hear that message that it is OK and we value diversity and being comfortable in your own skin."



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