School's skirt ban: Petition over 'trousers only' rule
Students at a Bradford secondary school that has banned pupils from wearing skirts to be gender neutral have started a petition against the policy.
All pupils at Appleton Academy in Wyke, West Yorkshire, will have to wear trousers from September this year.
The school says it "simplifies the uniform" and will prevent pupils from wearing "inappropriate length" skirts.
It said most parents and pupils had responded positively but a petition had begun to have the rule overturned.
The petition on change.org, started by Lesley Ellis's group The Real Student Voice Of Appleton, had received 186 signatures on Monday.
It said: "Both female and male students, parents and some teachers believe that the fact the school has decided to make wearing trousers and laced shoes compulsory for gender neutrality is a complete farce and the rule should be overturned."
It adds: "Appleton have changed the rules of either having trousers or skirts to just wearing trousers all for the cause of gender neutrality.
"However, this rule is not the equivalent of gender neutrality. If so, shouldn't the male students of the school be able to wear skirts? This simply does not add up."
The school said: "The majority of parents have responded with positive feedback and are supportive of the change and understand the reasons for it.
"We have already seen an increase in pupils wearing trousers through choice since the letter home."
The petition said students and parents had been using different social media platforms to address the problem but had not been taken seriously.
It said: "In fact, many adults have insulted us by calling us 'little tarts', and have said we wear skirts for boys to look up them."
Appleton Academy is a mixed mainstream school which has a primary, secondary and 16 to 18 facility. The academy has a total number of 1,297 pupils.