An annual tradition for year 12 students is dressing up for ‘Muck Up Day’. Some boys at Bentleigh Secondary College ran afoul of the school’s uniform regulations, by wearing summer dresses that were too short.
Bentleigh Secondary College boys wearing dresses ordered to change or go home at Year 12 muck-up day
Boys who wore dresses to their Year 12 muck-up day were pulled out of class and ordered to change or go home, students claim.
Yet, girls who dressed in the boys’ uniform at Bentleigh Secondary College were allowed to remain, they say.
The Herald Sun has been told up to 40 boys turned up to school in dresses for the Year 12s’ last day of classes this morning.
“In first period they collected all the boys and told them they either had to get changed or go home,” said one student, who asked not to be named.
“They could stay (at school) but they had to put shorts on underneath.”
But most of the boys did not have shorts, he said, and one boy in his class went home.
In a statement, the school said students were asked to wear shorts underneath after complaints over the length of their dresses.
However, girls who wear dresses at the school are not forced to wear shorts.
Bentleigh Secondary College principal Helene Hiotis said “not a single student has been disciplined or sent home for wearing dresses to school today”.
“A number of male students who wore dresses to school today as part of muck-up day activities were simply asked to tone down their outfits following complaints by other students,” she said.
But the teen said some students had been troubled by the message the school had sent in its ruling.
“A few kids at our school are LGBTIQ — we’re a Safe School, we’ve even got a poster of a guy wearing a dress encouraging people to wear what they’re comfortable in,” he said.
“There’s a few students disappointed in the school and a few upset about making the guys change.
“I think (the length of the dresses) as an excuse is quite poor, to be honest.”
Another student labelled the muck-up day uniform swap, where boys wear dresses and girls wear shorts, as “a year 12 tradition for their last day of classes”.
“This is an issue as Bentleigh is meant to be a progressive school and this whole ordeal have (sic) disrupted learning more than anything,” he said.
Ms Hiotis said the matter had “nothing to do with Safe Schools”.
“Bentleigh Secondary College prides itself on being a safe and inclusive environment for all its students,” she said.
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton said anyone who felt discriminated against because of their sex, gender identity or personal characteristics could contact the Commission.
“Schools must ensure that student dress codes protect students against discrimination and uphold human rights requirements,” she said.