School uniforms can be the greatest thing or the worst thing ever, depending on who you ask. Some argue that you’ll get more sleep if you don’t have to pick out an outfit every day, and that it’s nice not to have to deal with finding ways to “express yourself” every time you go to school. Others find the use of all dress codes to be completely sexist, shaming women for what they wear while rarely picking on boys for their outfits.
But one thing’s for sure, if a school finds that it needs to have uniforms, we at HelloGiggles agree that students shouldn’t be instructed what to wear based solely around gender. Luckily, Puerto Rico’s public schools are putting a stop to this antiquated practice by allowing students to wear any uniform items regardless of gender.
This is a huge step for LGBTQ and gender non-conforming students who up to this point were forced to wear gender-specific uniforms. Girls attending Puerto Rico’s public school were only allowed to wear skirts and boys were forced to wear pants, but now students will be free to wear what is most comfortable for them. And of course, teachers will no longer be allowed to take action against students for wearing what they consider to be clothing belonging to a different gender. At a time when kids here are being disciplined for simply wearing the wrong shade of green in their uniforms, this is especially huge. Regardless of your school’s dress code policies, shaming kids need to stop.
Earlier this year, we reported on a similar dress code change at a university in Bangkok and it’s exciting to see these kinds of inclusive changes happening in more parts of the world.
Props to Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla for also recently signing an executive order to put an end to LGBTQ-based bullying in schools. Let’s hope this is the start of even better, more inclusive attitudes on the island.
[Image via Shutterstock]