PPTA supports gender-neutral jewellery rules at schools

Pressure continues to be put on Mt Albert Grammar to adopt a gender-neutral jewellery policy.
PETER MEECHAM/FAIRFAX NZ

Pressure continues to be put on Mt Albert Grammar to adopt a gender-neutral jewellery policy.

Calls for boys to be allowed to wear the same jewellery as girls at school has support from the secondary teachers' union.

Last month, students at Auckland's Mt Albert Grammar School started a petition demanding the school introduce a "gender equal" jewellery policy.

The co-ed school, with a roll of more than 2800 students, has a rule that female students are allowed to wear one plain stud on the ear lobe but male students are not allowed to wear any jewellery at all.

PPTA president Jack Boyle said gender-based rules were not helpful.

READ MORE: 
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"We have seen no evidence that earrings or other jewellery affects a child's quality of learning," Boyle said.

Other schools in Auckland do not have gender specific rules, simply stating in their uniform rules "one small stud per ear is permitted".

Lynfield College principal Cath Knell said the only jewellery its students were allowed to wear was a pair of plain stud earrings and a wristwatch, which applied to both male and female students. 

"We have a gender neutral policy with regards to uniform so this applies equally to both boys and girls," Knell said.

In May the PPTA also supported a push towards gender-neutral school uniforms.

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"In a situation where there is a uniform we would advocate for students to have the choice to wear the uniform items of their choosing from a range of items.

"In this way, students are able to wear the uniform that suits their gender and or expressed gender."

Onehunga resident Shanna Reeder took to social media website Neighbourly.co.nz to express her views.

"There is no good reason not to have gender-neutral uniforms for example," she said.

Ellerslie resident Amanda Croft said on Neighbourly every school she'd worked at had the same rules for girls and boys regarding jewellery.

"Only allowed a watch and one stud per ear, anything else of cultural significance needed a letter to the principal to explain and request permission."

The Mt Albert Grammar School petition, launched in June at change.org continued to have support with 294 supporters.

It promoted the social media hashtags #jewelleryisgenderneutral and #letboyswearbling.

Mt Albert Grammar School Headmaster Patrick Drumm is currently away overseas, but last month said he was happy to discuss with students any issues they had regarding school rules. 

 - Stuff

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