Are school uniform rules too harsh, especially during winter? That's what some South Coast parents have asked after Narooma High School announced via its Facebook page last Friday (June 17), there will be "consequences for continual disobedience" in regards to students being out of uniform with a number of winter items of clothing reportedly not allowed.
One concerned parent, who wished to remain anonymous, told East Coast Radio the high school is too rigid with its rules, especially given the cold weather the region has been experiencing.
She said the current uniform offering which includes a unisex softshell jacket and round neck sloppy joe is not warm enough for current temperatures.
“Not at all, there should be big jackets available, they should be allowed to wear beanies and jackets from home, they should be allowed to wear gloves if they want to, it's pretty crazy,” the concerned mother said.
“They should be focusing more time and more energy on kids' mental health, they’re struggling,” she went on.
“I have never had to go through fires or a pandemic as a child, these kids are so resilient.
“As a parent, if I can get my child to school, that’s half the battle.
“What they wear should not be the focus at all, it should be their education, it should be having them involved and it should be on mental health.”
“I get that there needs to be a uniform but there is no flex in the uniform,they can’t wear black pants, there’s no female sports shorts, they have to wear a pleated culottes-style shorts, so the girls who want to go and have a kick of the footy at lunchtime, can’t do that.”
“Parents can get three jumpers from a retail shop for the price of one school jumper with a logo, and there’s no second-hand shop (offered at the school).
The School’s Facebook post stated that “Starting from Week 9 the school will have a focus on being in school uniform and students out of uniform will be recorded, and asked to complete a reflection if caught out of uniform on three occasions.”
Reflections are basically where students have to write what they did wrong, why they did it wrong, how they won’t do it wrong in the future.
The school’s Facebook post went on "Students continually out of uniform may receive further consequences for continual disobedience."
“I would love to see the school be a bit more flexible with the uniform, and wearing the logo, and spend their time and energy on the things that really matter,” the mother continued.
“I was worried about even having this discussion and I thought what’s the point, it’s probably not going to change anything.”
The Narooma High School and the NSW Department of Education have been contacted and provided one HERE stating there are a range of options, including jumpers and jackets, to keep students warm which can be found at the online uniform shop which is open onsite one day a week and the uniform is available at some local shops as well.
They also said "Students are allowed to wear beanies and gloves to and from school and when outdoors."
The mother said she doesn't feel like the school is listening to parents concerns “I don’t think the school values parents' opinions, even if the opinions are on mass.”
The Department said parents with financial difficulties or feedback should contact the principal.
It’s not understood exactly how many parents are disgruntled with the school’s tough approach to uniforms however a small number have been in contact with East Coast Radio.
Image Credit: Google Maps, Facebook, Naoroma High School