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Britain’s decision to ban skirts in schools sparks debate

entertainment Updated: Sep 17, 2011 00:35 IST

Several schools in the United Kingdom have recently banned skirts in schools as a way to counter rising hemlines and check the display of sexuality taking over classrooms. The move has sparked off a global debate about whether the act is prudish and regressive. Opinion is divided here in Delhi, too.

This year, Springdales School also introduced trousers as an option for girls. “Skirts are becoming a symbol of sex in the West. I think their move is justified but here, the problem is not only the length but also the low waists and the sloppiness in the way the uniform is worn,” says Jyoti Bose, principal of the school’s Dhaula Kuan branch. In 2008, Amity Schools discontinued skirts for girls in class 9 and above. “The length of skirts was getting shorter and we were fed up of keeping a check,” says Rekha Ranade, principal of the school’s Saket branch.

“As a designer and a parent, I feel that till Delhi doesn’t become safer, salwar kameez and trousers are a better option,” says designer Jattinn Kochhar, who designed a one-piece tunic uniform for Tagore International School. “The design is such that girls can’t tamper with the length either,” he adds.

But, those not in favour say the move sends out the wrong message. “Even if schools shift to trousers, there will be issues such as low waists and tight fits. It’s important to enforce existing rules; we have a strict code on the skirt length,” says Usha Ram, principal of Laxman Public School. “At this stage, girls want to seek attention, it’s natural. Instead of banning skirts, schools can set a non-negotiable length,” says psychiatrist Dr Deepak Raheja.

The international press has slammed the move in UK. “This implies that the (viewers) don’t need to take any responsibility for their actions,” writes The Gloss, a fashion website. The Guardian calls it a ‘nuclear’ option to adopt

Some schools in delhi where skirts are a no-no
Carmel Convent (salwar kameez instead of skirts for senior school girls)
Amity School (salwar kameez for girls of class 9 to 12)
Sri Ram School (trousers)
Holy Child (salwar kameez)
Mater Dei (salwar kameez)
Vasant Valley (salwar kameez after class six)
Springdales Dhaula Kuan (trousers)