Female students have teamed up with a teacher to launch a campaign to get sex shops to stop selling school uniform costumes.
Manchester Evening News (MEN) reports that students are also calling for outfits to be banned from pornography.
Pupils who make up the feminist group at Sandbach High in Cheshire have launched a petition after claiming to feel ‘vulnerable’ and ’embarrassed’ after being forced to face sexual harassment in their uniforms.
They are now urging the government to make it a crime for the costumes to be both displayed and sold in sex shops to ‘stop the sexualisation of children’.
So far, the petition has managed to garner more than 4,000 signatures, and the students are now hoping the issue will get enough buzz to be debated in parliament.
The teacher who leads the feminism group, Sarah Maile, explained that the group was created following the death of Sarah Everard.
The aim of the project was to bring young people together and give them the opportunity to discuss the issues that women face in modern society.
She said: “We were talking about all the issues that women and girls face today and there are so many.
“School uniforms that are mostly worn by children under 16 are used in pornography and sold in sex shops.
“We just think it’s obnoxious and it’s not right. It’s over-sexualizing kids.
“The more we talked about it, the more we realized it was wrong. School uniforms are not sexy.
“We should protect our children. It shouldn’t be legal to watch and enjoy these things on a sexual level.”
The teacher believes that the sexualization of school uniforms has sometimes led to some of her students being teased or harassed on the way to school.
“Everyone we spoke to shares their experience of being called cats in their school uniform, really sexualized comments,” she said.
“A lot of it comes from the idea that school uniforms are sexualized, which perpetuates this society that suggests it’s okay to sexualize children.
“There are times when the cars have slowed down and talked to them and said really really offensive things to them. They feel so vulnerable and embarrassed. They feel like it’s their fault and it’s not is not good.”
“Our students need to feel safe to walk down the street to school for their education without experiencing sexual harassment.”
With the help of her students, Sarah revealed the petition about a month ago and says it has already garnered a lot of support.
The aim is for the subject to be debated in parliament if the petition manages to collect 100,000 signatures.
Cheshire East Councilor James Barber is one person who signed it and is encouraging others to do so as well.
In his retweet, he said: “I signed this important petition because frankly it’s disgusting that this is a real issue.
“A big thank you to Sandbach High and all the young people who are lobbying on this important issue.”
You can sign the petition here.