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British High School Bans High-End Jackets to Protect Feelings

Canada Goose coats
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty
TOM CICCOTTA

A high school in the United Kingdom has banned high-end winterwear in order to protect the feelings of those who can’t afford expensive clothes, an effort it calls “poverty-proofing.”

Woodchurch High School outside of London has banned high-end winter jackets in an attempt to make students feel more comfortable at school. The ban targets brands like Canada Goose, whose jackets often retail for over $800.

Principal Rebekah Phillips said that the decision was made after consulting with students and their parents.  “We are very concerned as a school about poverty-proofing our school environment and, as such, we met with groups of pupils and made the decision in consultation with them,” Phillips said.

The Woodchurch High School coat ban has sparked a discussion all around the world. Parents have chimed in on the policy.

“I think it’s a fair decision and other schools should follow in example,” one parent argued. “All the children in this school have to have the same bags, they are not allowed certain shoes and the coat is just another. This definitely stops bullying as all the children dress the same so no individual can be singled out. Good work Woodchurch High School.”

I think we should all stop and think of the children whose parents can’t afford these coats it should be the same school coat for all part of the uniform and if people want to buy expensive coats wear them out of school seems a sensible plan by the school to me,” another parent said. 

Others parents, still, argued that the policy was unfair to parents who had worked hard to afford luxury items for their children.

“I work very hard to afford to buy my children some luxury items which I never had. Are these people who are asking where parents get the money from the same parents who are sitting there on their £1,000 phones, watching their 60-inch televisions?” another parent wrote. “All my daughter wanted for Christmas was a coat, which I have bought for her. The school should have thought about this in September.”

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