News, Culture & Society

Controversial ‘Do It In A Dress’ campaign raises $275,000

An Adelaide school which attracted nationwide attention for a ‘controversial’ fundraiser encouraging students to wear a dress to school, has raised more than $270,000 to educate girls in Africa.

Male and female Craigburn Primary School students and staff donated gold coins and wore dresses on Friday for the school’s ‘Do It In A Dress’ fundraiser on the final day of term.

Principal Paul Luke said despite the school’s unique fundraiser making headlines around the country, students were oblivious to the stir they had created.

‘Strangely enough when it all ballooned out on that Thursday evening, most children were coming to school not really aware of the media frenzy that was happening,’ Mr Luke told Nine News.

 

Craigburn Primary School raised $275,000 from its ‘controversial’ Do It In A Dress day on Friday

‘They (the students) were really excited about the girls that they were raising money for and the focus became more so on the cause itself. They really weren’t concerned about the political and social commentary.’ 

Conservative senator Cory Bernardi slammed the ‘absurd’ fundraiser for encouraging staff and students to wear a dress to school.

Senator Bernardi called out the event on his Twitter late Wednesday night saying: ‘This gender morphing is really getting absurd.’

Principal Paul Luke said despite the school's unique fundraiser making headlines around the country, students were oblivious to the stir they had created

Principal Paul Luke said despite the school’s unique fundraiser making headlines around the country, students were oblivious to the stir they had created

'They really weren't concerned about the political and social commentary,' principal Paul Luke said

‘They really weren’t concerned about the political and social commentary,’ principal Paul Luke said

Conservative senator Cory Bernardi slammed the fundraiser as 'absurd gender morphing'

Conservative senator Cory Bernardi slammed the fundraiser as ‘absurd gender morphing’

However, rather than prompt outrage, his opposition led to hundreds of new supporters heading to the school’s fundraiser page and giving more than $20,000 on Wednesday night – far more than the school’s original $900 target.

Dozens of donors left comments saying they only knew about the fundraiser because the Australian Conservatives leader spoke out about it.

Comedian Josh Thomas also threw his support behind the school’s effort, personally donating $2,000 and posting a dozen supportive tweets.

‘It’s students trying to raise money for charity. It has nothing to do with ‘gender morphing’… These kids were being sweet, compassionate and kind,’ he wrote.

But his opposition spectacularly backfired when hundreds flooded the fundraiser's page, donating more than $20,000 overnight - far more than its $900 target

But his opposition spectacularly backfired when hundreds flooded the fundraiser’s page, donating more than $20,000 overnight – far more than its $900 target

Dozens of donors left comments saying they only knew about the fundraiser because the Australian Conservatives leader spoke out about it

Dozens of donors left comments saying they only knew about the fundraiser because the Australian Conservatives leader spoke out about it

Craigburn's fundraiser was part of the global 'Do It In a Dress' effort to fund education for girls in Africa, buying books and pencils and making it safe for them to attend class

Craigburn’s fundraiser was part of the global ‘Do It In a Dress’ effort to fund education for girls in Africa, buying books and pencils and making it safe for them to attend class

Craigburn’s fundraiser was part of the global ‘Do It In a Dress’ effort to fund education for girls in Africa, buying books and pencils and making it safe for them to attend class.

The initiative has raised almost $200,000 so far, enough to educate 636 girls, and sends branded dresses to school, businesses and other teams for the day.

‘Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a dress you can just come in casual clothes. The main thing to focus on is raising as much money as possible,’ the school’s page read.

It was taken down on Wednesday night following Senator Bernardi’s tweet, but put back up again hours later with slightly different wording.

Comedian Josh Thomas also threw his support behind the school's effort

Comedian Josh Thomas also threw his support behind the school’s effort

He personally donated $2,000 and posted a dozen supportive tweets

He personally donated $2,000 and posted a dozen supportive tweets

‘Did you know that in some countries around the world girls don’t go to school just because they are a girl?’ it read.

‘In fact, over 60 million girls around the world are denied an education. Without an education a girl can be kept in the cycle of poverty, and struggle to earn an income or look after herself and her family.’

Senator Bernardi stood by his opposition when questioned by the Adelaide Advertiser, linking it to gay marriage and the Safe Schools program.

SA Education Minister defended Craigburn Primary (pictured) as a student-led charity fundraiser that had nothing to do with the same-sex marriage debate

SA Education Minister defended Craigburn Primary (pictured) as a student-led charity fundraiser that had nothing to do with the same-sex marriage debate

The school's page (original version pictured) was taken down on Wednesday night following Senator Bernardi's tweet, but put back up again hours later with slightly different wording

The school’s page (original version pictured) was taken down on Wednesday night following Senator Bernardi’s tweet, but put back up again hours later with slightly different wording

‘In the midst of a debate about the safe school gender ideology program, the redefinition of marriage and attempts to de-genderise society it seems this school is playing into a political cause rather than an educational one,’ he said.

‘Why are we suddenly encouraging boys and male teachers to wear a dress?’

SA Education Minister defended Craigburn Primary as a student-led charity fundraiser that had nothing to do with the same-sex marriage debate.

‘Senator Bernardi should check his facts before incorrectly naming and shaming a school undertaking charity work,’ she said.

The global initiative has raised almost $200,000 so far, enough to educate 636 girls, and sends branded dresses to school, businesses and other teams for the day

The global initiative has raised almost $200,000 so far, enough to educate 636 girls, and sends branded dresses to school, businesses and other teams for the day

 Another team poses in their dresses provided by the campaign

 Another team poses in their dresses provided by the campaign

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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