Boys can wear skirts as Irish school introduces gender-neutral uniforms
While most schools across the world where uniforms are mandatory, have strict guidelines conforming to gender roles, a primary school in County Wicklow, Ireland, will soon introduce a gender-neutral uniform policy.
The St Brigid's National School, located in the coastal town Greystones, said it wants to be inclusive of students questioning their gender identity.
The policy will come into effect from September.
Most important thing is children should feel comfortable: Principal
"We have children who are questioning their sexual identity. It's happening at an earlier age," the principal of the school, Máire Costello, told Irish Times.
Costello added, "If that means girls wearing trousers or boys wearing skirts, so be it. The most important thing is children should feel comfortable and happy over how they're dressed."
Toilets would also be made gender-neutral at the school.
Uniform includes pinafore, grey trousers, green cardigan
The current uniform of the St Brigid's National School includes a green tartan pinafore (a collarless, sleeveless dress), grey trousers, a green crested cardigan, and jumper.
As per the old policy, only the girls were allowed to wear the pinafore, and the boys were restricted to wearing the trousers and a green jumper.
From September, students of all genders can wear pinafore or trousers.
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Lot of work to be done, states trans rights NGO
"There are some great schools, including Catholic ones, and some terrible ones... it takes leadership and a common sense, human rights-based approach to ensure all children feel welcome," said, Sara Phillips, chair of Transgender Equality Network Ireland, adding there's "still a lot of work to be done."
Making even one student feel more comfortable matters: School Board
Meanwhile, Tom Sherlock, chairperson of school's board of management, told Independent that although some people opposed the move, mainly parents have been "hugely supportive" and making "even one student feel more comfortable" matters.
Separately, Costello said that the change was brought forth by the student council of St Brigid's National School and was then approved by parents and the school's board of management.
Ireland's Department of Education issued guidelines to support trans students
Back in 2016, in a report published by the Department of Education of Ireland, guidelines on how schools could support LGBTQ+ students were listed. One of the guidelines directed that students "should be permitted to wear a uniform that is consistent with their gender identity."
Gender Neutral Meaning
's National School
Department of Education
Transgender Equality Network Ireland
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