A Scottish primary school has drawn criticism over its “virtue signalling” for encouraging male students and teachers to attend classes wearing skirts on Thursday in order to “break down” gender stereotypes and “promote equality.”
In an email sent to parents, Castleview Primary School, in Edinburgh, noted that the initiative was to spread the message that “clothes don’t have a gender.” It referenced a similar campaign in Spain, in which male teachers and children wore skirts to show solidarity with a male pupil who had been expelled last year for wearing a skirt. The email added that “pupils were keen to take part.”
The school said it wanted all students and teachers who “feel comfortable doing so” to participate, and even offered to provide skirts if nothing “suitable” was available at home. It also tweeted about being “so proud” of the 10-year-olds who came up with the idea after learning about the Spanish incident. The pupils had apparently asked if their school could support the aforementioned #LaRopaNoTieneGenero movement.
The school added that it “promote[s] respect, tolerance and understanding” and wanted to be “inclusive and promote equality”. It shared an article referencing the movement, which noted that “there is now an annual ‘wear a skirt to school day’ every November 4.”
According to the Daily Mail, the email prompted an angry response from at least one parent with a child enrolled at Castleview. She tweeted in response that the school should “let kids be kids.” The post has since been hidden behind privacy settings.
In a series of tweets, another parent said she “couldn’t be prouder” of her daughter and other students who had “asked for this”. She reassured others that the school was “not going to force anyone into anything” and shared the email it had sent.
However, other social media users weighed in to accuse Castleview of “virtue signalling”, with one person criticising the school for telling students “what to wear” in order to “prove something that doesn’t need proving”. “Most kids don’t care about this. Adults do,” the user tweeted, calling on the school to make a “policy choice on uniform” instead.
Several commenters were of the view that primary-schoolers would be “too young to understand” the issue at stake, and called on the school to “concentrate on the curriculum” instead of pushing its ideological agenda. Others asked why the school had given the students “only two options” and “not allow[ed] them to dress however they want[ed]” on Thursday.
Some, in contrast, pointed out that the school was only “supporting something the kids themselves are passionate about”, while others wondered what was “so offensive” about letting any child wear a skirt for a day if they wanted to.