Students claim dressing down over school uniform blitz

A DEPARTMENT of Education and Communities (DEC) spokesperson has denied allegations students who are not in correct uniform are subjected to “public humiliation” during school assemblies.

The comments come after Canobolas Rural Technology High students contacted Central Western Daily staff with allegations they had been marched to the front of the school assembly for wearing the wrong jumper, a different shirt, runners instead of black leather shoes or wearing black pants instead of a kilt. 

The students said they were embarrassed and the recent uniform blitz was excessive. 

“It’s a form of bullying, pulling us up in front of everyone,” one student said. 

However the DEC spokesperson said no students were brought to the front during the school assembly, rather students who “did not fulfil the uniform code” remained behind at the end of an assembly to have a discussion with staff.

The discussions place an emphasis on determining if the students need the  support for assistance to complete the uniform, according to the department. 

The spokesperson said the school community values the wearing of school uniforms because it encourages self-esteem and pride and allows students to appear as equals regardless of their family’s capacity to purchase fashion items. 

“I think it’s OK to wear the uniform but some people can’t afford all the proper things like leather shoes"

He said the P&C was in support of the uniform policy and it has been discussed at community forums and mentioned in the school’s newsletter on multiple occasions as per the department’s policy. 

There had been no change to the uniform policy and no student was humiliated, he said.

The students said about half the school was brought to the front by teachers after they were asked to come to the front voluntarily.

“Then said in front of everyone ‘this is unacceptable’ and it was just really embarrassing,” a student said. 

Students said it had happened more than once and it would be best if students were approached individually. 

One student said they were brought to the front for wearing their sports uniform in the morning yet the sports lesson was not until the afternoon. 

“If they just asked to speak with us by ourselves that would be OK,” a students said. 

“I think it’s OK to wear the uniform but some people can’t afford all the proper things like leather shoes,” the student said. 

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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