Britons have endured their hottest June since 1976, so naturally, teenagers have wanted to wear shorts to class. One group of Exeter-based schoolboys asked Isca Academy's Headmaster, Aimee Mitchell, but she refused. School rules dictate long "trousers." "You can wear a skirt if you like," Mitchell sarcastically remarked according to the Guardian.
The students decided to treat her joke like a dare and have since showed up in skirts to picket Mitchell's tyrannical uniform guidelines. Their protest comes after French bus drivers wore skirts after Nantes city officials forced them to bear their long uniforms in the heat.
The Guardian identifies 15-year-old Ryan Lambeth as one of the ringleaders of Isca Academy's schoolyard fashion show. "He said it was unbearable," his mother, Claire, told the publication of his pants. "I spoke to a teacher to ask about shorts and she said it was school policy [that they could not be worn]. I did say this was exceptional weather, but they were having none of it. If girls can wear skirts, why can't boys wear shorts?"
Enraged, Ryan called on four friends to join him in his genderbending protest. They showed up the next day in women's clothing. When administrators complained their legs were too hairy for skirts, the pubescent boys shaved.
Now, Ryan's mother tells the Guardian, 50 to 60 boys have donned skirts to fight for their right to not endure record-breaking heat in pants. (The BBC estimates only 30 boys participated.)
"I didn't expect it to take off like that," Claire admitted to the Guardian. "The school is being silly really. This is exceptional weather. I was very proud of Ryan. I think it was a great idea."
His battle will likely continue, now that Headmaster Mitchell has announced she refuses to surrender. "We recognize that the last few days have been exceptionally hot and we are doing our utmost to enable both students and staff to remain as comfortable as possible," she told the BBC. She has since published alternatives to skirts and shorts for males on her school's website:
Ties can be removed and not worn by students and staff but please ensure that ties are bought to school each day and we will review the situation on a daily basis
Undo the top buttons of shirts
In lessons shirts can be untucked / loosened but please can shirts be tucked in when they leave the classrooms
Please allow students to remain hydrated with plenty of water
Relocate classes to cooler areas of the school wherever possible
Ensure that all windows and doors are open to allow the building to remain ventilated
Parents predict their boys will persist against Mitchell's anti-shorts politics. Kids hate heat, but as one mom noted to the Guardian, "Children also don't like injustice."