A headteacher has apologised after six teenage girls were publicly criticised over the length of their “distracting” skirts – in front of 200 fellow pupils.
Pupils said they were paraded in front of their entire year group at Cannock Chase High School during assembly because their skirts were “too short or tight”.
One of the year nine girls – aged 13 and 14 – said she was so embarrassed she was left shaking and fellow pupils called them “slags” as they returned to their seats.
In response, hundreds of girls at the school wore skirts the following day as a sign of solidarity and 17 held a protest on the tennis courts during lessons.
Molly Stockle, 14, who was one of the humiliated pupils was pulled up over her smart, black, straight skirt, which she was wearing with flat shoes, tights and a blazer.
An investigation was launched after parents complained, and now the girls have been given individual apologies by the teacher who staged the rant.
Molly, from Cannock, Staffordshire, said: “I felt so embarrassed and I started shaking.
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“My head of year stared at each one of us and said our skirts were too short and figure hugging. I felt so humiliated.
“When I walked back to my seat and when I went home that day other people were laughing and saying ‘slag’.
“I was very surprised to be asked to stand up. Another girl in my year group had on the exact same skirt and she wasn’t asked.
“I thought it must be a mistake and they would notice they were wrong and let me sit back down.
“My mum lets me wear what I like, but she wouldn’t let me out of the house if I broke the school policy, and it’s my style to be smart and classy.
“I dress differently for different occasions. I don’t get in to trouble at all at school and I’d say I get on well with my teachers.”
Molly said the girls were picked out in the first full year assembly since Covid restrictions began, on Thursday.
She said the head of year, Miss Jinks, asked form tutors to go round and pick out girls with short or tight skirts. and Molly’s male tutor picked her and one other girl.
School regulations states skirts should be just above knee level, with no splits, and Lycra figure hugging skirts are not acceptable.
Molly’s was a cotton straight skirt bought from the school’s preferred supplier.
Miss Jinks told the assembled year nine that the girls were wearing examples of skirts that weren’t acceptable, it is claimed.
She said they should wear “better” skirts or trousers in future.
Molly said one class was later told shorter skirts were “distracting” to male teachers and students.
She said: “It was really shocking. If it’s distracting to them then I think they shouldn’t be working in a school.”
Molly and 16 other girls organised a protest the following day, standing on the tennis courts for two and a half hours refusing to go to lessons until they were given an apology.
Molly and her mum Joanna Stockle complained to the headteacher, who they said apologised and promised to investigate.
Later on Friday, the head of year apologised to all the six girls who were called up in assembly in turn, Molly said.
Mum Joanna, 37, a specialist resourcer for a recruitment company, said: “I have been angered and frustrated that this incident occurred.
“No child should have to endure the level of emotional abuse that was inflicted on those six girls.
“However, I am reassured that this is an isolated incident, and by the head’s assurance that no child will suffer humiliation at the hands of his staff again.
“I really must praise him for dealing with the complaints with care and dignity: especially as he wasn’t involved in the incident in assembly or afterwards.”
The school has been approached for comment.