Boy punished for wearing shorts would've held skirt protest to stay in school, says dad

14 July 2022, 10:34

By Tim Dodd

The father of a 13-year-old boy who was put in isolation at school because he wore knee-length shorts due to the heat says he'd have been willing to hold a skirt-wearing protest in order to stay in class.

It comes as schoolboy Harrison Utting claimed he was placed into isolation after turning up to class wearing shorts during this week's heatwave.

Harrison says he was put into a special room as punishment for attending Westlands School in Sittingbourne, Kent, in a pair of knee-length shorts on Monday.

Nick Ferrari asked Harrison's father Terry Utting: "Why did your son feel it necessary to wear shorts if presumably all his mates still had their long trousers on Mr Utting?"

Mr Utting said: "I understand the schools, they've got rules, and the kids obviously should follow those rules, but when Harrison texts me from class saying that he can't concentrate and he's feeling dizzy, to me, shows the environment there is not safe for him. So I went and collected him from school.

"And then the next day he went in in shorts, and got put into isolation for it, so once again I went and collected him."

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Nick asked: "Presumably the other boys in his class were keeping their long trousers on?"

"Yes they are," Mr Utting said, "and he did try to get the boys... because girls are allowed to wear skirts, so he tried to get the boys to do it because it's part of the uniform, and they would've been allowed to wear skirts."

"But his mates wouldn't do it with him so we took him out of school. And there's no air conditioning in the school, as we understand - budget probably isn't there for that. But they need to make allowances for that in this unprecedented weather."

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