A high school in Sydney, Australia, has agreed to change its dress code to let students wear uniforms regardless of gender.
Students at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts successfully campaigned to broaden the uniform policy to better reflect all gender preferences and identifications. The school’s prior policy required students to get permission from parents and psychologist notes in order to wear a cross gender uniform.
“That wasn’t really a possibility for some students whose parents aren’t supportive of their gender identity,” Jo Dwyer told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Our aim was to remove the un-inclusive gender labels from the school uniform, and make it so that anyone could wear any aspect of the uniform without having to go through a long and difficult process.”
This new, inclusive policy went into effect last week, much to the predictable disapproval of a spokeswoman for the Australian Christian Lobby. Wendy Francis told the SMH, “To encourage a guy to wear a dress would just be setting him up for bullying. I don’t get it. It is a retrograde idea in my mind, there is no need to say we are going to allow boys to wear a kilt or girls to wear trousers, I find it almost laughable.”
The Department of Education says uniform policies at all the schools are at the administration’s discretion.
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