Dublin school's 'small mindedness' slammed over uniform warning to parents

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A secondary school in Dublin has been slammed for its “small mindedness” for sending a letter to parents warning students may be sent home if they don’t have the correct uniform.

The letter was sent out by a school in west Dublin yesterday afternoon.

Students are currently on their Easter holidays, and first year to transition year students have not yet been in school this year.

Parents and guardians received this note despite the Level 5 lockdown currently in place, a time where shops are closed and many parents have found it hard to buy clothing, particularly shoes, for their growing children.

The letter states that flat black shoes must be worn as well as the full uniform, including a jacket.

A spokesperson for SPARK Ireland, which supports single parents, told Dublin Live: “Teachers and educators should show leadership and resilience in an unprecedented global crisis.

“This inflexibility around school uniforms is doing the opposite of this.

“Schools can offer a sense of normality for children during this crisis and should be welcoming children back.

“Instead, this type of small mindedness is adding to a child’s stress.

“It is clear that they have no real understanding of the privileged position they are in on a full wage, when so many families haven’t had a wage in over a year.

“If they believe uniform rules are important, they could suggest that they are adopting a flexible approach during the crisis but that normal rules will resume when shops etc. are open.”

SPARK-Ireland tweeted about the letter saying: “While the school says they understand budgetary concerns and shop closures, they continue to say non compliant children will be sent home.

“Some parents haven’t had a salary for a year and are not in a position to buy new shoes etc. for the 6 weeks left in the school term!

“These children have been out of school for 4 months and to threaten parents like this is appalling.

“We are in a global pandemic and we have all had to make adjustments, surely allowing children to wear whatever shoes still fit them is not too much to ask?

“Sending letters like this to struggling parents is WRONG.”

Jen Whitmore, a Social Democrats TD, replied to the tweet, saying: “A bit of common sense needs to be shown.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic, what’s important is that our children are in school being taught – not what they are wearing whilst there.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Education told Dublin Live: “Under the Education Act 1998, all recognised schools are managed by the school board of management on behalf of the schools’ patrons or trustees or the relevant Education and Training Board (known as the management authority).

“Any decisions on school uniform policy are a matter for the school’s board of management at local level.

“Schools should consult with parents and students in relation to this policy.”

Minister Foley also told us: “While this is a matter for schools, I am confident that schools will be mindful of the current circumstances parents may be facing.”

The school has also been contacted by Dublin Live for comment.

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A group of Anti-Lockdown protesters clash with Gardai) in Grafton Street, Dublin, during Level 5 Covid-19 lockdown. On Saturday, Fabruary 27, 2021, in Dublin, Ireland.

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Source: Dublin News