*Mary’s story

My daughter attended our local state primary school in NSW, where a dress was the only option for girls in summer.  She loved to play soccer at lunch time, and wanted to wear shorts so chose to wear the sports uniform every day.

We approached the principal and the P&C to try to get shorts as an option for all the girls, but this was refused despite a student survey showing the majority of the girls wanted a choice.

My daughter was told she would not be allowed to represent her school or apply for any leadership positions because she was not wearing the correct uniform.  She chose to continue wearing shorts, and I supported her choice as I felt her reasons were valid.

The Department of Education have a policy that children not have opportunities limited on the basis of race, gender, religion etc.  Why then are schools able to restrict our girls active play by refusing to allow them to wear appropriate clothing?

Shouldn’t girls be active too?  I think schools should be obliged to give students choices; this should not be up to individual principals or P&C members to decide.

The school in question still does not provide choice for girls, despite the fact this all happened about 10 years ago.  My daughter was subjected to a fair bit of bullying because of her choice, and I would hate to think other girls are going through the same thing, so I am keen to see laws changed.


*name changed for privacy reasons