Hundreds of pupils sign petition to stop Piers Morgan’s former school from forcing all students to wear ‘gender neutral’ trousers
- Priory School in Lewes, Sussex introduced trousers to boys and girls uniforms
- Parents and pupils protesting the move have been called ‘transphobic’
- Former pupil Piers Morgan threatened to turn up outside the school gates wearing a skirt
Hundreds of students have signed a petition to stop a school from forcing all students to wear ‘gender neutral’ trousers.
Despite originally set up in 2017 as a bid to be ‘gender-neutral’ for transitioning students, the policy at Priory School has been criticised by trans – and transphobic – campaigners.
Priory School in Lewes, West Sussex, was also met with protests from parents and pupils for forcing all students – boys and girls – to wear a uniform of polo shirt, school jumper and trousers.
Students say they should all have the right to choose whether they wish to wear a skirt or trousers.
Hundreds of students have signed a petition to stop a school from forcing all students to wear ‘gender neutral’ trousers
And Priory School alumnus Piers Morgan called for boys to be boys and girls to be girls
The petition is being supported by former pupil Piers Morgan who threatened to turn up outside the school gates wearing a skirt.
It read: ‘Forcing everyone to wear trousers is limiting choice, preventing people from having the ability to choose whether to wear a skirt or trousers and therefore preventing diversity.
‘It is also very bad for the environment because the old uniforms have to be thrown away, wasting old cotton uniform. Fast fashion is the second biggest contributor to climate change.’
In 2017, when the policy was put in place, headteacher Anthony Smith said it was for a ‘small number’ of students who identified as transgender at the school.
However, trans activists have said trans girls should also be allowed to wear skirts if they wish and trans boys should be able to wear trousers.
In 2017, when the policy was put in place, headteacher Anthony Smith said it was for a ‘small number’ of students who identified as transgender at the school
Campaigner for LGBTQ rights Jane Fae said: ‘What is inexplicable is that the head teacher at this school claimed this move was “trans-friendly”.
‘I would very much like to know who on earth told him that.
‘I know of no major trans organisation that would give such advice: so either he has misunderstood something quite fundamental….or he has sought advice from anti-trans campaigners.’
More than 400 people have signed the petition so far.
Comments on the petition also suggest the policy was put in place to stop girls from rolling up their skirts.
One parent said: ‘The school needs to back off and admit that perhaps they took it to far.
The new uniforms as shown in a mock-up sent to parents. Parents of senior pupils complain they will have to buy their children a new uniform for a ‘couple of terms’
Priory School in Lewes, pictured, said the new uniform was designed to cater for trans gender pupils, although parents claim the original plan was only to mandate new starters to wear the uniform
‘If their worry is about skirts being too short then they should deal with that issue and not prevaricate about it being for other reasons.’
In response, a spokesperson for the school said: ‘Priory School uniform is designed to be a practical uniform which encourages students to be ready to focus on their school work and activities.
‘Our uniform also helps us to dilute the status placed on expensive clothes or labels and challenge the belief that we are defined by what we wear.
‘Instead, we encourage individual beliefs, ideas, passions and well-being and an ethos of camaraderie that is reflected in this shared experience.
‘We believe that a uniform worn without modification is the best way to ensure equality.
‘We do not want children feeling vulnerable and stressed by the pressure they feel to wear or own the latest trend or status symbol.
‘Priory school is not unusual in having a trousers as the uniform item for all students.
‘There are at least 40 other schools which have a similar uniform requirement.
‘Our core purpose remains the quality of teaching and learning and we aim to achieve this by maximising the time spent on planning, delivering and evaluating the quality of provision.’