Local News

Auckland students protest over ‘unhealthy’ new uniforms

Massey High School students are petitioning to scrap their new uniforms, which they claim are too hot to learn in.
Massey High School uniform

A student-led campaign to change Massey High School’s uniform is gaining momentum, with more than 1,200 people signing an online petition in support of scrapping the new look.

The new uniform, which was introduced this year, bans shorts and knee-length skirts and requires students to wear ties and blazers all year round.

Students of the West Auckland school launched the campaign on change.org on February 20, claiming the uniform is too hot, and unsuitable for Auckland’s hot summer weather.

While Leo Anderson, the student who created the online the campaign, concedes the uniform “looks sharp” in a letter to the decile four school’s Board of Trustees, he writes that many students find it uncomfortable and that it is impacting on the way they learn.

“Lots of studies show students learn best when they are physically comfortable. Sweating profusely, or just plain distracted by the heat – these things stop us achieving our educational potential,” the open letter says.

“We’re calling on the Board of Trustees to implement a common sense solution to this problem: a summer uniform. Lots of well-regarded public schools (such as Auckland Grammar School) have a summer uniform. Why can’t we?

“We know the school wants us to not just ‘Seek’ the heights – they want us to ‘Achieve’ them too! Help us stay cool, be comfortable, and focus on what really matters: our learning.”

More than 1,200 people have signed the petition, including a number of concerned parents.

“My son has suddenly started to get blood noses and my daughter is getting headaches and having to get panadol from the school nurse and it’s all because of what they have to wear everyday in this heat. Make the change Massey High school please!!!” wrote Rena Gage.

Another supporter, Linda Ward, wrote: “My son comes home from school very very hot and he says he cannot focus on class especially the last 2 classes. He actually feels sick most afternoons and it makes him not enjoy school like he used to”.

An original petition was started on the same website late last year in an attempt to stop the proposed changes to the uniform.

According to the school’s website, the new blazers cost $175 for Year 9 students, and if the blazer is return in good condition when the student leaves school in Year 13, they can receive a refund of $120.

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