Skirting the issue: parents protest Catholic school replacing skirts with pants

At one Catholic school in Connecticut, those plaid skirts we remember are becoming a thing of the past:

Parents at St. Bernadette Catholic School are up in arms over a new uniform policy that eliminates the trademark plaid skirts and jumpers for little girls in favor of less traditional female garb — khaki pants.

The new policy, which some parents argue will cost them more money because the current uniforms have to be thrown out, was announced in December and will go into effect next fall.

In a letter to parents, Principal Sherry Steines explained the policy change and said it was the result of “many conversations and input from the school survey.” The other big uniform change is navy blue polo shirts instead of white ones.

“Many parents have voiced opinions about the inability to keep the white shirts clean,” Steines wrote in the letter.

But some parents say they never took a school survey or had input about the uniforms. They say the change in uniform policy is throwing tradition out the window and they are not happy about it. A petition was circulated and garnered about 20 signatures from parents asking for a meeting with Steines about the issue. That meeting was never granted, the parents say.

“I would like to carry on with the beautiful tradition that the kids wear their proud uniform,” said one mother, who asked not to be named.

The uniform change is partly in response to older girls “rolling their skirts” to make them shorter. But several mothers argued the school should simply disallow skirt rolling, like it prohibits nail polish and flashy jewelry, rather than ban skirts.

This week, parents waiting outside to pick up their kids when school let out generally opposed the change.

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