The answer to that has to be yes, for some teachers at least. But is that the real issue, or does the latest news item on girls’ uniforms affecting teaching tell us more about a growing decline in teaching decorum and core values in general?
There can be no doubt that girls in short skirts and tight trousers may on occasion cause male teachers to look at their students in a different light, but moving past those emotions and getting down to the job of teaching is the norm in many schools. Likewise, boys wearing revealing gym kit in schools where female (or male) teachers work could by definition also be a ‘distraction’, and it’s important to highlight the flip side to this phenomenon, as sexual awareness is not limited to men by any means.
But the debate surrounding school uniform never strays into boys’ uniform territory, giving the distinct impression that girls are once again being penalised for being girls. An it’s not just skirts that seem to be causing offence – it’s trousers, too.
The article we’ve linked to above makes a poignant observation. Should we allow schools to continue to target girls when it comes to uniform, or be brave enough to confront the current norms surrounding women’s bodies and their sexualisation?
Should girls, and boys, be able to wear whatever they wish to school, or should there be restrictions, based on issues unrelated to gender? Where do you think we should draw the line?