The mom of a teenage girl claims that her daughter was sent home on the second day of the new school year after her teachers insisted that her trousers from Asda were too tight.
Around 40 students from Forge Valley School in Malin Bridge, Sheffield, were sent home or put into isolation for breaking the “zero tolerance” uniform rules.
The 14-year-old Scarlett O’Donoghue was pulled to the side by one of her teachers and told to change her trousers or go home.
A staff member rang her mom Claire to tell her that Scarlett was not allowed in class.
The mom says:
“Scarlett was so excited about starting her GCSEs – I was livid.
We’ve not got a lot of money and Scarlett knows we’ve not got £50 to spend on an outfit she can’t wear.
What I cannot get over is what right does one teacher have to say my child’s trousers are too tight?”
Claire spent £51 on three pairs of trousers and three skirts, but the teachers said that the clothing was “unacceptably tight”.
The mom, who runs a glazing company with her husband Michael, added that Scarlett, like a lot of teenage girls, thinks she is too fat, and for someone in authority to say that her clothes are too tight is disgusting.
“A lot of girls also have issues about their weight and their body image.
So if you have an adult telling you the skirt is too tight it’s going to hugely harm your self-esteem.
What is that saying to teenage girls about their self-confidence when they are already worried about their weight.
They’re sexualizing young girls who should be allowed to wear whatever they want to wear.”
The mother says that the school will not give them the £50 they spent on the new uniforms. Scarlett wore a skirt on the first day of school, but the teachers said that it was also “unacceptably tight”.
More than 500 angry parents have signed an online petition for the uniform policy.
Dale Barrowclough, the headteacher of the school, says:
“We have the uniform policy because it promotes a professional ethos in the school and it allows pupils who can’t afford branded clothes to avoid bullying.
This is something that was raised by parents and which is why they wanted the uniform policy and it would be unfair to change it now. I’m not prepared to relax our high standards. It’s why Forge Valley is oversubscribed and we could not say that when the school opened.”
According to Mr. Barrowclough, a “small number of pupils” have been sent home from school, but he said that he could empathize with parents over buying uniforms.