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School's sandal scandal

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 09:59 09/08/2012
SANDAL

SENDING OUT AN SOS: The website campaign to protect the rights of students to wear sandals.

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A ban on sandals at Takapuna Grammar School may be a step too far.

A Facebook campaign has been set up to fight it, labelling principal Simon Lamb's action "political correctness gone mad".

The Save Our Sandals site calls on parents to support the protest by withholding the 2013 donation until the policy is reversed.

Mr Lamb initially announced the ban from next year in reaction to the sloppy way he says sandals are worn.

The school seems to have backtracked and will consider the issue as part of a total uniform review.

But opposition appears to be quickly mounting with the Save Our Sandals page suggesting protests like flashmobs and a petition.

The website says there is simply "no good reason to change what has been a part of our uniform for 85 years".

Mr Lamb says for many years the college has talked with students about "the need to wear the sandals well".

"We have also been clear that if students cannot wear this item correctly then we will withdraw the sandals from the range of uniform options.

"This should come as no surprise to students as we have been relentless in our insistence with them."

Mr Lamb says students are injuring themselves because of they way they wear them and they're unsuitable in science labs.

Principal and board of trustees chairman Mark McCall responded to the North Shore Times' request for comment with a prepared statement. It says the "Board of trustees support senior management in ensuring the students wear the school uniform correctly.

"The recent notice to students and caregivers that from next year sandals will no longer be part of the school uniform and the reasons why, was discussed at board of trustees level.

"The board acknowledges the views of less than 20 parents who had emailed the school regarding their support for and against the wearing of sandals."

The statement says because of interest in school uniform issues a review will be brought forward to term four "so that all the views of the parents and students, current and prospective, can be heard".

"The results of this survey will be publicised back to the respondees and brought to the Takapuna Grammar School Board of Trustees for consideration."

New Zealand Secondary Principals Association vice-president Paul Daley says schools can withdraw uniform options if they are unhappy with how it's being worn.

He says most students choose to wear shoes and socks in summer anyway.

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