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Cannock Chase High School Forced To Apologise Over ‘Distracting’ Skirts

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Cannock Chase High School Forced To Apologise Over ‘Distracting’ Skirts

A school has been forced to apologise after six girls were 'publicly humiliated' over the length and appearance of their skirts.

Pupils said they were paraded in front of their year group during an assembly, at Cannock Chase High School in Staffordshire.

Humiliated in front of 200 classmates, the year nine girls - aged 13 and 14 - were told their skirts were 'too short or tight'. They were then sent back to their forms, before being targeted by other pupils, who called them 'sl**s'.

One of the girls, named Molly, who was wearing an almost knee length skirt with flat shoes and tights, said she was left "shaking with embarrassment" at the shocking incident.

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Molly was left shaking over the incident (Credit: Joanna Stöckle)
Molly was left shaking over the incident (Credit: Joanna Stöckle)

"I felt so embarrassed and I started shaking," she said. "My head of year, stared each one of us down and said our skirts were too short and figure hugging. I felt so humiliated.

"When I walked back to my seat and when I went home that day other people were laughing and saying 's**g'.

"I was very surprised to be asked to stand up. Another girl in my year group had on the exact same skirt and she wasn't asked.

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"I thought it must be a mistake and they would notice they were wrong and let me sit back down. My mum lets me wear what I like, but she wouldn't let me out of the house if I broke the school policy, and it's my style to be smart and classy.

"I dress differently for different occasions. I don't get in to trouble at all at school and I'd say I get on well with my teachers."

Poor Molly was picked after the girls' head of year allegedly asked form tutors to go through their class and pick girls with short or tight skirts.

She said one class was later told shorter skirts were "distracting" to male teachers and students.

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"It was really shocking. If it's distracting to them then I think they shouldn't be working in a school," she added.

School regulations states skirts should be just above knee level, with no splits, and Lycra figure hugging skirts are not acceptable. Molly's was a cotton straight skirt bought from the school's preferred supplier.

And parents were understandably furious at the humiliating incident, with an investigation now being launched by the headteacher. The girls have also been given individual apologies by the teacher in question.

Molly said she thought it must have been a mistake (Credit: SWNS)
Molly said she thought it must have been a mistake (Credit: SWNS)
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Molly, along with 16 other girls, organised a protest the following day, where they stood on the tennis courts and refused to go to lessons until they were given an apology.

Molly's mum Joanna Stöckle complained to the headteacher, who apologised and promised to investigate.

Joanna, 37, later added to Tyla: "I'm extremely proud to be Molly's mum. She has never been criticised for her uniform before by any teacher, so the incident in the assembly came as a huge shock to not only Molly, but to anyone who knows her.

"Molly is very proud of the way she carries herself, in every which way, and the headteacher confirmed she should not have been frogmarched to stand on stage, in any case, but that the events themselves were very bizarre as her uniform, appearance and her aptitude for learning has always met or exceeded the standards expected of her.

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"Following the humiliating assembly the tutors took them back to their individual tutor rooms and continued to shout and state their opinions. Molly again was berated and compared to another girl, ironically they were wearing the same skirt!

"One class, which wasn't my daughter's form, was told that if girls wear tight clothing/short skirts, they are asking for it and it's why so many young women are sexually abused."

Despite the shocking claims, following the incident, Joanna wanted to emphasise that the headteacher has been "nothing but fantastic" in handling what had happened since.

"Whilst I cannot speak for the other parents/kids involved, he has treated my daughter with dignity, care and respect since becoming aware of the incidents leading up to the assembly and of course what happened during the assembly, then afterwards.

The school is investigating the incident (Credit: SWNS)
The school is investigating the incident (Credit: SWNS)

"He is exactly what a headmaster should be, and has acted in line with the core principles and standards he has worked so hard to achieve for the school, in which he also expects the children to follow.

"His apology and the efforts he has gone to to rectify the mistakes the school made far exceeded my expectations."

In a comment, the headteacher told Tyla: "At Cannock Chase High School we have the highest expectations in relation to academic achievement, personal development and equality of opportunity. This extends to our expectations in relation to behaviour and uniform.

"On Thursday 10th June, whilst maintaining these expectations, we made a mistake in how we addressed uniform concerns in a year group and we apologise for this.

"This is not representative of the school's practice and was an isolated, individual error of judgement.

"On Friday, for a short part of the early morning, a small number of our students wished to voice their feelings regarding the matter as part of a peaceful on-site protest.

"We are meeting with these students and their parents/guardians to ensure we work constructively together. As of Monday 14 June all students are now in lessons and focused on their learning."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Life News

Lucy Devine
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