School changes uniform policy after bullying claim over girl’s tights

Oban High School

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Oban High School has updated its uniform policy after being accused of bullying over tights.

One mum, whose daughter missed classes after being sent to guidance for wearing neutral-coloured tights, went on Facebook to vent her annoyance. Her post received more than 245 comments in 48 hours, many in support.

The mum, who has made an official complaint, said she checked the school uniform policy online first and was happy with how her daughter looked, but as soon as the 14-year-old entered school she got pulled aside and sent to guidance for wearing the neutral tights.

Her daughter tugged the tights to show she was not bare-legged but was told they were not good enough. Once in guidance, the teenager was offered black tights but refused because she was not sure they were clean. A member of staff then offered to take her to Tesco to buy her new ones, said the mum, who then insisted she come home and said she later got a call from the teacher admitting there was nothing on the uniform policy about neutral-toned tights but was going to get the policy amended that day.

The unamended policy made no mention of tights.

‘Apparently black thin tights are fine, I personally don’t see the difference!’ said the mum in her Facebook post adding: ‘They’d be better spending their time sorting the bullying, making sure kids have the right classes they’re meant to be in and stop being the bullies themselves!’

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute said the school’s uniform policy had been updated to provide more clarity after talks with Senior Pupil Leadership Team, Parent Council and teacher representatives.

Oban High School’s Parent Council, who unanimously agreed to back the updated school uniform policy, issued this statement: ‘The school has always looked after its pupils, particularly during lockdown, and therefore the parent council was really sad to see the school and staff being targeted on social media.’

And a spokesperson for the Senior Pupil Leadership Team added: ‘These comments on social media don’t represent how the vast majority of pupils at Oban High feel about the school uniform, most of whom are happy to wear it. Having a uniform makes everyone equal, it creates a sense of community within the school, and it prepares young people for the world of work. It’s really disappointing that these negative comments are detracting from how good the school is.’

Oban’s uniform is over a decade old, ‘simple and inexpensive’, and almost all of the school’s 900 plus pupils stick to the dress code, said a council spokesperson, adding: ‘We promote fairness and equality in all our schools, which is why we expect pupils attending Oban High to all wear the same uniform.’