High school is full of amazing memories, yet it can also be tough. Students coming from poor backgrounds even have the added anxiety of struggling to fit in with their wealthier classmates when it comes to clothes, shoes and accessories. Now, a high school in northwestern England is attempting to put an end to the extra anxiety some students experience by banning expensive Canada Goose and Moncler coats.
The headteacher of Woodchurch High School in Birkenhead explained in a letter to parents, which was released in the beginning of November, that the ban would be in effect after Christmas, as the school was “mindful that some young people put pressure on their parents to purchase expensive items of clothing.”
“These coats cause a lot of inequality between our pupils,” headteacher Rebekah Phillips told CNN. “They stigmatize students and parents who are less well off and struggle financially.”
These blacklisted Canada Goose and Moncler coats sell for as much as $1,200 – a price many parents will struggle to afford. “There has been feedback from children, who say ‘Gosh, that is our rent for the month,'” Phillips said.
While I personally was caught off guard by reading such a request, the headteacher says her attempt to “poverty-proof” the school, which contains students between the ages of 11 and 16, was well-received by parents. Phillips noted that a former student even wrote her to praise the move and said that the school shouldn’t be a place where students’ “economic background is rubbed in their faces and distracts them from learning.”
Another parent, Andy Treanor, said the ban “did not matter” to him as “he would not spend that much on a coat” for his daughter anyway.
CNN reports that roughly 46 percent of the 1,427-strong student body comes from a disadvantaged background and that the school introduced other measures to prevent social inequality from affecting children’s performance.