School threatens suspensions over leggings and sneakers

School does must be all black and leather. Picture: John Appleyard
School does must be all black and leather. Picture: John Appleyard

AN INNER west public high school has threatened students with suspension if they do not comply with the uniform dress code policy.

Tempe High School principal Socrates Dassaklis said the crackdown on uniform comes after students were showing up at school wearing leggings without a skirt and incorrect shoes.

A letter emailed to parents of the 970 students on August 3 sparked a storm on Facebook with parents angry over the warning to suspend students not wearing the appropriate school uniform.

"Such a stupid carry-on and a waste of students' time," one parent said.

Mr Dassaklis said it was acceptable to have nose piercings and coloured hair but when it came to uniform, there was no leniency.

"We do have a standard and kids will rise to the standard if they see it," Mr Dassaklis said.

"It's a leveller for kids. The rich kids don't stand out this way. The other reason is community perceptions. The community wants the kids in uniform. Some of it is safety so that's why they need to be wearing leather shoes.

"I don't really want to waste my time on uniform so you go in and you go in hard."

Mr Dassaklis said when the roll was marked each morning, students not wearing the appropriate uniform would receive a warning.

After four warnings of disobedience, the parents are notified and a warning letter of suspension is sent.

"There are lots of exceptions like financial issues or religion or if they have a sore leg or are allergic to the material, then they will get a pass until they're fine," he said.

"There's going to be variation in the inner west. We accept nose piercings and pink or blue hair because if they're wearing their uniform, it doesn't look out of place. It says I'm an individual but I'm wearing my uniform.

"I've never suspended anyone for uniform."

To enforce the school's strict uniform policy, images of the appropriate senior, junior and sports uniforms and acceptable shoes and sports shoes dominates the school's homepage.

During the Courier's interview with Mr Dassaklis, he stopped a student to point out the incorrect dress code.

"These are the tights, right. You know you're not meant to be wearing those?" he asked the female student.

"Do you have a skirt at home? Well wear it on top okay?"

The school's P & C meeting was held last Tuesday night where the Students' Representative Council discussed changes to the uniform.

"There are two issues. There's compliance and improvement," Mr Dassaklis said.

"We are looking at the girls' tracksuit pants being high-waisted. The girls also want more comfortable shorts.

"If any of my community has an issue, I'm more than happy to talk to them. They can be keyboard cowboys but not one parent has spoken to me about this."

A parent posted a copy of the letter on the Tempe 2020 Facebook page, which received a huge reaction from fellow parents.

"Last time they sought the high road with uniform adherence they wasted 10 minutes of class time every morning arguing about coloured socks," the parent wrote.

"Feedback from my kids and their friends is that these spot checks are during class time where the kids are lined up and inspected. It's hardly as if they're wearing mufti, why disrupt everyone for this.

"Also, not happy about the suggestion of suspension."

Topics:  editors picks leggings school

News Corp Australia

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