Hundreds of students have reportedly been issued with detention at a Brisbane high school for failing to comply with the school’s uniform policy in regards to the types of shoe acceptable.
Parents of students at TGSHS (The Gap State High School) vented their frustration on social media last week due to the stringent uniform requirements that would result in students being given detention for having the incorrect shoe heel size. This week the high school enforced its policy with both students and their parents claiming large scale detentions took place.
Many students reported that they were interrupted in exam preparations to go acquire lunchtime detention passes. One mother reported that she got a text from her daughter saying that there were around 460 students lined up to get their detention passes.
This would be a significant chunk of the student population. The figures from Education Queensland show that there were only 1,401 students attending The Gap State High School last year.
One student posted on a social media page related to the school that they were delayed from class for nearly an hour while waiting in line.
The school’s uniform policy instructs students that their shoes must be lace up, black leather school shoes with a heel. The heel must be no larger than 20 millimetres and no smaller than 5 millimetres.
The school has also issued a visual guide of what shoes are compliant along with an endorsement of a shoe store selling them.
This crackdown by the school on student’s failing to comply with the uniform policy has prompted an angry reaction from parents who believe the rules to be unnecessarily stringent. Many parents disclaimed that they are happy for a uniform policy to exist but that the requirements for heel size were going too far.
Others took the school’s side and said that the uniform policy was not hard to comply with.
A member of the Queensland Teachers Union, Kevin Bates, said that the school’s principal had told him that 103 students had been sent to detention. Both the school and the Department of Education have declined to confirm if this number is correct.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said that since school restarted in 2018 “a relatively small number of students” had failed to comply with the uniform policy. They also said that the students had been “provided with warnings” and had their families had been spoken to in order to solve the issue.
The spokesperson went on to say that the school must “take appropriate disciplinary action” to enforce the uniform policy despite “deliberate infringements” by students.
Concerned parents have been requested to attend the school’s next parent and teacher council meeting on 12th of February to discuss the issue.