November 30, 2023

‘This is not acceptable’ – Kilkenny TD writes to school that told female students not to wear ‘tight fitting’ PE gear

A Kilkenny TD has weighed in on the controversy involving a school that reportedly told female students not to wear “tight fitting” PE clothing because it was distracting to staff.

Deputy Kathleen Funchion, who is Sinn Féin spokesperson for children, descibed reports involving Presentation College Carlow as “very concerning”.

The Carlow Nationalist report said teachers spoke to all female students in their year groups last Friday and asked them not to wear leggings or tight bottoms. It was reported the students were also told not to roll up their skirts or tighten their jumpers as it was also too revealing.

Deputy Funchion said: “It is clear that many students and their families have been very hurt by this – and rightly so. It is also clear that female students felt singled out as the restrictions on what students should wear does not seem to have been addressed to male students.”

The Carlow-Kilkenny poll topper (pictured below) said she has written to the school “to seek out their version of events”.

She added: “I also believe the Department of Education should seek to establish what happened in this school, and if the policy being applied by the school is in keeping with the best principles of respect, equality and dignity.

“Young women and girls today face a society where their bodies are constantly under scrutiny, and in many instances are shamed because of their appearance. This is not acceptable.

“It is particularly important that we ensure that young women and girls are not subject to this when they are at school, and the Department of Education must ensure all schools do not use uniform policy in a way that is in any way hurtful and insensitive.”


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