It's been done before under similar circumstances, but every time it happens, I feel great joy and hope for the world.
A short-sighted, authoritarian school regime arbitrarily decrees that shorts are not permitted in accordance with the school's purposeless dress code. At the same time, the school maintains that skirts, which are essentially shorts without legs, are perfectly acceptable.
In response, boys arrive to school the next day donning skirts of their own to highlight the stupidity of gender-based dress codes.
In this case, it was the boys of Isca Academy in Exeter, where temperatures reached record highs. The boys had asked their teachers if they could swap their long trousers for shorts and were told no – shorts weren’t permitted under the school’s uniform policy.
Then this happened. It's it fantastic?
As is often the case, the school officials reacted slowly, clumsily, and stupidly to the situation, saying that they were prepared to think again in the long term.
Shouldn't they always be thinking in the long term?
The headteacher, Aimee Mitchell, said: “We recognize that the last few days have been exceptionally hot and we are doing our utmost to enable both students and staff to remain as comfortable as possible."
No you're not, Aimee. "Doing your utmost" would have meant saying yes when the boys asked to wear shorts because boys wearing shorts is no big deal.
Mitchell added, “Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys, and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families. However, with hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future.”
You want to consult the students, Aimee? Do you really think there is a significant numbers of boys who oppose the relaxing of the dress code?
And since these boys came to school in skirts, can't we rightfully assume that their parents were aware of their protest and supported it as well?
How about just doing what is right and just? Eliminate your gender-based dress code and allow boys to expose their legs in the same way that girls can. When it's a matter of common sense and justice, leaders take immediate action.
What I'll never understand is how shorts have become second class citizens in so many parts of society, despite the fact that they are nearly identical to skirts. It makes absolutely no sense.
Imagine a school in 2017 where girls were only permitted to wear skirts, regardless of temperature or personal preference? What might the reaction to that kind of gender-based dress code be?
Is it any different than a school (or anyplace) where boys are only permitted wear pants?