Lizz and her daughter’s story

After all, my daughter was attending the local primary school, wearing shorts and t-shirts each day like many of her peers.

The last time my daughter wore a dress was when she was 2 years old. I had forced her to wear it, after buying it for a friends wedding. It was pretty plain and comfortable. However I spent the whole day dealing with a distressed child variously trying to remove the dress or crying because I stopped her doing so.  Six years later and she hasn’t worn a skirt or dress since. No big problem in a contemporary society such as ours.

Then came the issue of high school. Only then did we discover that the opportunities for her to attend a coeducational school that supported her learning, social and cultural needs were severely limited by her discomfort with skirts/dresses. Having worked around teens, I am aware how difficult life at high school can be. I don’t intend to make things worse by enforcing antiquated uniform requirements that restrict her comfort, movement and sense of self.

In writing to several of the local high schools, I was bewildered to learn they had no interest in my daughter’s academic, sporting or leadership potential if she wasn’t willing to wear a skirt to school.

It shocked and horrified me. What messages do they send to our girls? Fit in or move on?? Or that girl’s well-being and safety are secondary to a school’s tradition.  It’s not fair or acceptable and as such, I joined Girls’ Uniform Agenda to be part of the change I wanted to see.