PPTA backs gen­der-neu­tral poli­cies

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CA­TRIN OWEN

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.

‘‘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 schools where pos­si­ble hav­ing gen­derneu­tral uni­forms.

PETER MEECHAM/FAIR­FAX NZ

Mt Al­bert Gram­mar has a pol­icy ban­ning boys but not girls from wear­ing jew­llery.

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