*Petra’s story

My name is *Petra and I am an active, athletic 11 year old girl living in Perth, Western Australia.

I currently attend a co-ed, private school that does not have a school uniform. I usually wear a pair of Adidas sports shorts and a tee-shirt to school. I feel comfortable wearing this because I can ride my bike to school, play soccer with my friends at lunch time and feel free to be active whenever I want.

I ride my bike 15km to and from school (a round trip of 30km!) most days. If I had to wear a dress or a skirt I would not feel comfortable riding my bike to school, playing soccer at lunch time or even just during class lessons.

I am looking for a bigger high school to go to next year and I have done some tours/interviews at some of Perth’s best private girl’s school. I like what these schools have to offer but I am put off by their uniform policies. I feel disappointed that I would need to wear a skirt or a dress if I was to go to any of these schools.

My brother goes to a private boys school and is allowed to wear shorts and pants so it is unfair that I would not be allowed to if I was to go to a private girl’s  school.

I don’t like wearing a skirt or a dress at any time and I have not worn either since I was three years old. I love sports and I do dinghy sailing, windsurfing, bike riding and soccer. I also do drama, scouts and play the piano. A skirt or dress is not practical if you are active and busy doing sports and other activities.  I am sad that I may miss out on what these schools have to offer because of their uniform policies.

When I am out, I notice that most women that I see don’t wear skirts or dresses so I don’t understand why girls’ schools don’t allow girls to wear shorts and pants.

I think it’s important that all schools allow girls to wear shorts and pants because it allows us to be more active which is important for a healthy lifestyle and staying fit and healthy. I learn better when I feel comfortable and I do not feel comfortable in a skirt or a dress.

Girls should have the option to wear shorts and pants no matter what. It is unreasonable to force girls to wear skirts and dresses if they want to attend good, private girls’ schools.


*Name has been changed to protect student