Beginning this fall, St. John’s will once again be able to offer female students the option to wear pants as part of their uniform.
In years prior to the 2013-2014 school year, female students were permitted to wear pants as part of their uniform. But when Flynn and O’Hara canceled the female line of pants, female students transitioned to only wearing skirts for the SJC uniform.
Since that time, girls at St. John’s have expressed the desire for the same equality and uniform options as their male peers.
“I frequently take the bus home, which in the winter is really uncomfortable because of the cold, especially if I forget sweatpants. Even in school during the winter, I sometimes have trouble focusing because I’m wearing a skirt in freezing temperatures,” said Nicole Rangoussis ’21.
“I’ve been at St. John’s for three years now, and every year it gets super cold in the winter, making it really hard for me to focus on my studies. Next year, you’ll see me walking down the halls in pants for sure,” said Quincy Waters ’20.
According to Mr. Themistos, the principal of St. John’s, the decision was not difficult. He said the argument for allowing all students the opportunity to wear pants was one of “equity, opportunity, and comfort.”
Many students agree, because even if they choose not to wear the uniform pants, they have a choice.
“I think the new uniform policy for girls is a great idea. Not everyone is comfortable in a skirt, and giving people the option to choose will be a great step forward,” said Iciline Mix ’21.
Many students interviewed by The Sabre said they believe wearing skirts to school is not only uncomfortable, but also distracting to female students. Rather than focusing on their studies, many girls at St. John’s are preoccupied with how they are sitting or whether they feel chilly. Allowing girls the choice between pants and skirts will make life at school, on the metro, or even at after-school activities much easier.
Riley Langan ’22 said, “I feel like the skirts become a distraction in the winter, when both the weather and building are freezing cold. It’s difficult to pay attention in class when we’re focused on how cold our legs are or having to sit a certain way. Allowing pants would reduce discomfort in the winter and distraction throughout the year.”
In addition to providing more options for uniform wear, the pants will also be much less expensive. The new uniform pants will be $24.75, which is substantially less than the winter skirt ($57.50) and the spring/fall skirt ($47.75). This especially benefits incoming students, because instead of purchasing one spring and winter skirt for $105.25 total, they will be able to buy a pair of pants that they can wear all year for $24.75 total.
While the current uniform skirts are nice and look good, they are not immune to stains, especially the spring skirt. Another benefit of the new uniform pants is that they are easier to wash and harder to stain because of their durable material and darker fabric.