As the temperature creeps closer to "the oven is now preheated" levels, we naturally want to wear our breeziest clothing options. But that can be hard to achieve when your school has a rigid uniform policy. So when boys at Brighton's Longhill High School in the U.K. were banned from wearing their gym shorts to class as a way to beat the heat, they decided to go for another school-sanctioned item — skirts that are also part of the school's dress code.
Metro UK reports that four 14-year-old students, Kodi Ayling, Jesse Stringer, Michael Parker, and George Boyland, wore skirts after the school sent students home for wearing their gym shorts to class. Several students had chosen to wear the school-issued shorts on July 20, when the local temps were so sweltering, they clocked in as 2016's highest temperatures (thus far).
Last month, a government-backed policy in the U.K. allowed students at 80 state schools the freedom to choose between skirts or pants as part of a more progressive uniform policy. The rationale was certainly different, though: The policy was spurred not by sweltering temps, but rather by shifts in cultural attitudes regarding gender equality, plus ongoing lobbying from LGBTQ communities. Across the pond, public schools in Puerto Rico signed a similar regulation in October, allowing students the choice of bottoms, regardless of gender. Progressive school-uniform moves like these are welcome relief given the typically grim nature of dress-code news, such as these two sexist uniform crackdowns back in April, both for supposedly "distracting" skirts in the U.K. and in New Zealand. This particular school-uniform situation has a happy ending, as Longhill High School's official stance on its male students donning skirts was favorable. Kate Williams, the school's headteacher, officially has no problem with students wearing non-gender-conforming outfits. "Four male students at Longhill High School chose to wear a skirt to school," Williams said in a statement, according to Metro UK. "Students can choose to wear any part of the agreed school uniform."