Student facing suspension for wearing wrong socks

 

A QUEENSLAND student faces being suspended for wearing generic socks and not a pair bearing the school's initials.

Kenmore State High School informed the student's mother on Tuesday that her son faced suspension if he again missed detention for failing to wear school-sanctioned socks.

Sara (last name withheld) said her son had worn generic branded socks all year and she had been blindsided by the email detailing the breach and that a suspension was imminent.

The school, which has almost 2000 students, charges $10 for a pair of white socks that bear the initials KSHS or three pairs for $25.

An order list for Kenmore State High School uniforms which includes a pair of logo sports socks for $10 or three pairs for $25. Pic: Kenmore State High School
An order list for Kenmore State High School uniforms which includes a pair of logo sports socks for $10 or three pairs for $25. Pic: Kenmore State High School

The teen was pinged on August 1 and given detention.

He twice failed to attend before his parents were alerted that he would be suspended if he failed to front for detention (3.10pm until 3.50pm) on Friday.

"He has been wearing the same socks all year and yesterday I got the email from the school about detention," Sara said.

"He forgot he had detention but basically he faces being suspended because he was not wearing the correct socks and I had no idea this policy had changed."

She said his father attended the last P & C meeting and the quality of the school sanctioned socks was under scrutiny and that students would not be given detention if they wore a generic pair.

"I have no issue with kids wearing school uniforms just the schools need to make up their minds and stick to their own policies and communicate that more effectively with parents."

"I understand wearing school shirts and shorts, but I can buy three pairs of regular white socks from Target for $10, but now I know, I have to go to the uniform shop to get the socks."

Under the school's published policy, a parent should be contacted if a student breaches uniform regulations without a note.

The child receives lunchtime detention for each day the breach has occurred and, if they failed to attend twice, they receive after-school detention. If that is missed further action is taken.

Kenmore State High School's uniform policy is not without its controversy.

Kenmore State High School principal Paul Robertson's uniform policy has not been universally embraced by parents. Pic: Achper Australia
Kenmore State High School principal Paul Robertson's uniform policy has not been universally embraced by parents. Pic: Achper Australia

In June, executive principal Paul Robertson urged parents and students to boycott a P & C survey on his controversial policy of students wearing formal uniform every day in 2019.

About 80 per cent now wear the sports uniform which consists of a polo shirt and shorts.

Mr Robertson made the request in a newsletter after the P & C launched the survey which found 88.5 per cent of parents wanted uniform choice.

It was the second time the principal had locked horns with parents after announcing in 2018 that there would be a uniform crackdown in 2019.

Parents hit back, claiming the school-issued formal shirts were see-through and bras could easily be spotted.

Under the school's uniform policy it states that "all items will have the school logo clearly marked on them" and white ankle socks "with or without a stripe" are acceptable.

An Education Department spokesman said the school's policy was available on its website and the processes that would followed if a student failed to adhere to the code.

"Kenmore State High School's student dress code was reviewed in 2018 and a decision was made to retain and reinforce the existing uniform policy, with some modifications to accommodate gender-inclusivity," the spokesman said.

"The principal and school are providing further opportunities for consultation and feedback about the uniform policy.

"A school-convened working party chaired by an independent consultant with representation from students, staff and parents is reviewing the current school uniform."

The Education Department did not answer questions relating to when a parent or guardian should be notified if a student has received detention because they have not adhered to the uniform policy.

Mr Robertson was also contacted for comment.