Woodchurch, a high school in Birkenhead, England, has decided that expensive jackets are no longer allowed on campus and will start enforcing the ban after the Christmas break. Apparently, the jackets sustain inequality between students.
This is all part of the school's new goal to end the phenomenon called "poverty shaming." It's something that happens when someone points out a lack of wealth in another person. The policy intends to counter this issue through students' clothing items. One reason the ban has come into place is that Woodchurch high school has 46% of its 1,427 students coming from families that are low-income.
According to the Huffington Post, the information came to the parents of students via a letter. It expressed how students who are less fortunate can sometimes pressure their parents into buying them expensive items, despite them not being able to afford them.
@RadioCityTalk mick my son goes too Woodchurch High he has been asking for one of these coats for Xmas.. Since the school announced this. He has told us not too bother as he can't wear it for school.. Result for me 👍😁— ⚽️DAVE HANNAFORD⚽️ (@trfc_rover) November 15, 2018
Some of the jackets that have been banned are Canada Goose, Pyrenex and Moncler. These coats' prices can range from a couple hundred dollars to easily over a thousand. This means a family that doesn't have much money, to begin with, could put itself into debt to buy one jacket, whereas the money could have been better spent on other things like food or bills.
At last a school with sense, absolutely agree with your decision to ban ridiculously expensive school coats! Yes there will always be a divide between rich and poor families however, schools are a place to learn not a fashion show and a place to flaunt such expensive items 😐— Gill Murray (@GillmurrayGill) November 15, 2018
The school actually decided on going through with this policy after they met with students to discuss the issue and found that this course of action would be in their best interest.
This isn't the only thing that the school has done to prevent poverty shaming. Two years ago, they also enforced a new rule that dictated all students must have the same kind of backpack. Administrators even went as far as to lower the number of non-uniform days because some students were bullied due to their outfits.
While this may protect students to some degree, there will come a time when they're going to find themselves in a situation where they can be made fun of due to their financial status. What this does though, is make sure Woodchurch offers a safe place for students to learn. But outside of school, it's basically fair game since few people wear the uniform off grounds.