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 Detention Over Shoes
 Posted: Feb 6 2018, 09:22 AM

Rana Capillum

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Brisbane school sends 'hundreds' of students to detention over shoes

By Shelley Lloyd

user posted image

Karen Bishop is angry that her daughter’s new black school Van shoes are banned by The Gap State High School.
Photo: Shoes such as these have now been banned at the school. (Supplied: Karen Bishop)

A Brisbane high school reportedly issued hundreds of students detention for failing to wear the correct school uniform.

Last week, parents from The Gap State High School (TGSHS) in Brisbane's west took to social media to vent their anger about uniform requirements which would see their children sent to detention for having the wrong-sized heel on their school shoes.

This week, the school acted, with parents and students claiming hundreds of students were given detention for wearing banned shoes or a non-compliant uniform.

One parent told the ABC that senior students sitting practice Queensland Core Skills exams were also called out of the classroom to get lunch time detention passes for uniform infringements.

"I just got a text from my daughter, there are 460 kids in a line from the office all the way down to the front gate," one mother said.

If that number is correct, it is a significant proportion of the student body. Education Queensland figures show there 1,401 students enrolled at TGSHS in February 2017.

A student posted on The Gap Grapevine Facebook page: "I was there this morning, I was told to go up [to the office] at 8:45 and I don't get back to class until 9:30," she said.

The school has directed students to wear black leather lace up school shoes, which have a heel, no greater than 20 millimetres and no lower than 5 millimetres.

It has even issued pictures of what shoes comply, along with an endorsement for a retailer selling the footwear.

user posted image

A shoe guide issued to parents of students at The Gap State High School
Photo: The shoe guide issued to parents showing acceptable heel height. (Supplied: The Gap State High School)

The move to crackdown on students flouting the school's uniform rules has prompted another angry response from parents on social media.

"Seriously, there are kids committing suicide because of bullying around the country and this school is worried about shoes? #priorities," posted one parent.

Another expressed frustration: "For crying out loud, is this the biggest issue for the local high school to be addressing? I totally respect the guidelines and parents should have purchased within those guidelines, but heel height? Choose a battle worth fighting TGSHS".

One student said: "Today I was one of the students up at the office for having leather Nike shoes on, the girl next to me had the correct black leather lace up shoes however, was sent up to the office as her heel was just over the 3cm mark."

Others supported the school's stand.

"Children of The Gap, lace up your shoes, go to school, enjoy it, make the most of it, learn things that may enable you to make the world a better place," one person wrote.

Kevin Bates from the Queensland Teachers Union said the principal had informed him 103 students were sent to detention yesterday.

Both TGSHS and the Department of Education refused to confirm the number of students who received detention.

"Since the return to school in 2018 a relatively small number of students have not fully complied with uniform policy," a Department of Education spokesman said.

"Those students were provided with warnings and their families were also contacted and the school requested they rectify the issue.

"The school leadership team may take appropriate disciplinary action against students who have repeated deliberate uniform infringements," the spokesman said.

"TGSHS is thrilled with the majority support of the school community regarding uniform standards and is focusing on the vast improvements in student pride and appearance that is evident this year. School staff will continue to work with families to assist students to meet common expectations around the uniform.

"Student dress codes reflect school community standards and balance the rights of individual students with the best interests of the whole school community."

Parents have been advised to attend the next GSHS P&C meeting on the February 12 to voice their concerns about the school uniform policy.

While I have no problem with schools enforcing certain dress standards, I find this issue over which shoes are acceptable and which aren't is bordering on nit-picking. Fair enough, indicate that boots (as shown in the guide) are unsuitable but some of the other shoes, including the pair at the top of the story, cause no problems. Surely schools need to address priorities more important to a child's education.

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Winston Churchill
 Posted: Feb 6 2018, 05:46 PM

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And safe schools rolls on
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