Sep. 7th, 2017

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The subheader in today's Mirror ("School Bans Skirts!" is the main headline) reads: "Anger as head brings in new uniform to cater for 'small number of transgender children.'"

The Piers Morgans of this world have been duly outraged. The rather more measured piece in the The Telegraph makes it clear that the issue of transgender pupils was only one of several factors (and not the first mentioned) that led to the more uniform uniform of trews only:

"Pupils have been saying why do boys have to where [sic] ties and girls don't, and girls have different uniform to boys," he said. "So we decided to have the same uniform for everybody from Year 7.

"Another issue was that we have a small but increasing number of transgender students and therefore having the same uniform is important for them."

There had also been complaints from the wider community about the length of school skirts, so this was another factor in the decision to ban them altogether.

Mr Smith said: "We know the current uniform is not necessarily worn as respectfully as it should be. "There were problems with decency and a number of issues raised by people in the community about how students were wearing uniform."


Actually there are several things in that justification that I find problematic, but then I'm not a fan of uniforms at the best of times, so I'll let that slide for now. Since this is being spun by the professionally outraged as a transgender issue, what I'd really like to know is: how does this change of policy accommodate trans children? I'm trying to see the scenario, and I can't.

I can imagine a scenario in which a trans boy wanted to wear trousers, or a trans girl wanted to wear a skirt, or a genderfluid child wanted to change from time to time. I can imagine a head so worried by the challenge to gender norms that rather than allow children to wear the clothes of the gender they identify with he forces everyone to wear the same thing. This is not called accommodating transgender children, it's called accommodating cis fragility. But of course it's the children who are being presented as the problem here.

I'm not saying that's what happened. But if not that, what?

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