SDLP Backs Need For A School Uniform Code Change

The Trousers for All campaign now has legs and there is a choice for students to wear gender specific uniforms they are comfortable with.

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The Trousers for All campaign now has legs and there is a choice for students to wear gender specific uniforms they are comfortable with.

Crotlieve SDLP Councillor Karen McKevitt has called on council to support students choice in relation to gender specific dress codes observed in schools.

SDLP Crotlieve Councillor Karen McKevitt.

Councillor McKevitt proposed a motion at a recent full council meeting which will now be fully considered at the Equality and Good Relations Forum of Council.

Cllr McKevitt read out her motion to the council and said after the meeting: “Society has moved on considerably when talking about uniform policy this past number of years, so too have many schools which is very welcome.

“No young person should be forced to wear an item of uniform which is traditionally gender related. As a council we should encourage schools who have not addressed the wrongs of equality issues around uniforms to change policy to better reflect our changing society.”

Cllr McKevitt added: “We are also calling on the Minister for Education and the Education Authority to support this initiative which will remove stigmas that some of our young people face on a daily basis. Young people should be allowed to be comfortable with who they are and should be able to dress as such.”

Cllr John Trainor.

Downpatrick SDLP Councillor John Trainor in supporting his colleague said: “Young people face many pressures. Being a young person in today’s society dominated by social media and pressures from academic stress is difficult enough without having the added stress of being forced to wear gender specific clothing which perpetuates stigma’s and increases anxiety and mental health issues.

“It is important that Schools, the Minister and Education Authority recognise such issues and try to address them to benefit the young people impacted.”