Student in campaign to wear shorts to school

Owen Lambert believes Morecambe Community High School sixth form students should be allowed to wear shorts in hot weather.
Owen Lambert believes Morecambe Community High School sixth form students should be allowed to wear shorts in hot weather.

A Morecambe High School pupil took his battle to wear shorts to school online by launching an official web petition.

Lower sixth student Owen Lambert set up his campaign on – the world’s largest petition platform – in a bid to get the school to allow students to wear shorts in hot weather.

In previous years Morecambe Community High had allowed ‘tailored shorts’ to be worn, but this was changed last year after pupils flouted the rule.

Now school bosses are sticking to their guns and insisting shorts remain banned, despite Owen’s efforts.

More than 100 people ‘liked’ the petition in 24 hours before the school asked the 16-year-old to take the page down.

Owen said: “I feel that people who wear shorts would be happier at school.

“They wouldn’t be hot and sticky when they are working. We don’t want sixth form students feeling restricted while having to wear jeans and Chinos in hot weather.

“Girls are allowed to wear dresses and skirts so why can’t both males and females wear shorts?

“I’m going to suggest to the school that students can be allowed to wear shorts on a designated hot summer day in exchange for paying £1, which could be donated to St John’s Hospice.”

After being asked to remove the petition, which attracted almost 170 signatures, Owen wrote on his page: “Unfortunately, the school has made its decision and has decided to keep the ban on all forms of shorts for both males and females.

“I was told that this was because of a previous year at the school making this decision for us because shorts were ‘exploited’ and ‘misused’. While we had a clear manifesto that aimed to present students with the opportunity to wear cool and efficient clothing without wearing anything disrespectful or offensive, the school has refused to comply and has asked that this petition be shut down.

“The school has said that anyone who does come in wearing shorts from this point forward will be asked to go home and change.”

Head of sixth form Penny Smith said the decision was made to ban shorts last year after some pupils abused the rules.

She said: “Every sixth form in the local area has a dress code. We are the only sixth form except for Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School that doesn’t have a shirt and tie dress code.

“We have a very liberal dress code but we do have some things that we say are inappropriate in school.

“We did have a policy that tailored shorts were acceptable but that turned into students wearing football shorts and jogging shorts and it became a constant source of arguments.”

Ms Smith said the change in dress code to ban all shorts was agreed with the student management committee last year.

She said: “It was published to the incoming Year 11 and current Year 12 students.

“The danger is that the students may end up with a shirt and tie dress code.

“I think we have been incredibly liberal and fair with the students. We can trust them largely and they are mostly very happy with the code we have.”