Item schoolgirls banned from wearing
There's still a month to go but the race for worst decision by a school in 2019 might be over.
There are reports out of Melbourne today that a high school has banned girls from wearing leggings.
That's bad enough, but the school's justification is worse.
Melbourne radio station 3AW is reporting that a senior teacher at the suburban school - which parents have asked not be named - has posted in a student portal a message comparing leggings to bikinis.
The message was deleted two hours later but the ban is still in place.
"They say they distract the male students and sexualise the girls," 3AW's Neil Mitchell said this morning. "Really. If the boys can't concentrate or if the boys see it as suggestive, isn't that their problem?"
Mitchell's guest, Jenni Rickard from the Australian Parents Council, called the ban "ridiculous".
"Can I just check what decade we are in? I thought it was 2019, not the 1980s," she said.
"Schools have a right to talk about uniform and they have an obligation to make sure their students come to school dressed, however the reason behind this is the issue.
"Saying that it's because it distracts the boys is ridiculous. And what I would say is that it's not real. I have three sons … and they wouldn't even notice if a girl was wearing leggings."
If the reports are true, it would be the first Australian school to ban leggings. Schools in the US have already done so, with mixed results.
An 11-year-old female student at a school in Kansas was made to wear tracksuit pants after turning up to class in a pair of leggings and a tunic top.
The school nurse told her: "You're not allowed to call your mum and you cannot change. She cannot bring you clothes. You need to go back to class and you have to wear these borrowed pants."
A Catholic mother of four sons wrote a strongly-worded letter to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana complaining about a "legging problem".
"I wonder why no one thinks it's strange that the fashion industry has caused women to voluntarily expose their nether regions in this way," she wrote, according to Vox.
"I thought of all the other men around and behind us who couldn't help but see their behinds."