New rules

Public schools in Western Australia will amend dress code to allow pants for girls

Public schools in the state of Western Australia will now give female students the option to wear pants or shorts as part of their uniform, in part thanks to the efforts of an 11-year-old girl.

The New York Times reports that the Education Department announced last week it would adjust its dress code, which currently restricts girls’ uniforms to dresses, skirts or skorts. The move comes in response to a complaint by Perth resident Krystina Myhre, a representative of the advocacy group Girls’ Uniform Agenda, and her daughter Sofia.

“I think it’s really unfair that my brothers have been allowed to wear shorts, and all through primary school I haven’t been allowed to except when I have sport,” Sofia wrote in a letter to Sue Ellery, the state’s education minister. “I really love kicking the footy, netball and doing handstands at recess and lunch. It is annoying doing these things in a skirt.” The dress code change has been months in the making.

Most education departments in Australia allow schools to choose their own dress codes, but the codes must align with anti-discriminatory policies. After Ellery met with Myhre, she recommended that the department ensure its dress code was not discriminatory.

The new policy only applies to public schools, but several private schools in Perth are reportedly planning to implement similar rules allowing girls to wear pants and skirts.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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