Skinny pants may pose a security threat to our schools, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi told HuffPost today. His comments come as students protesting at Hoerskool Pretoria West boycotted classes and demanded to be allowed to wear skinny pants on Friday.
"Aside from the fact that the skinny pants will affect discipline, control and management within our school, I am worried because anyone can come in and out, and you won't be able to recognize who the school kids are because of what they are wearing," Lesufi said.
All of Hoerskool Pretoria West took to the protest on Friday afternoon, except for the matric students who are preparing for their preliminary exams, according to Mr Brian Zyster, chairperson of the school governing body.
Zyster says there may be more sinister reasons behind the protest. "The protest on Friday was started by problematic students," he said. "My worry is that the ringleaders are students who were suspended two weeks ago, and the worry now is that the ringleaders are using this thing to destabilize the school."
"But everything is back to normal today," Zyster says. "One or two did try to get in through the system today wearing the skinny pants, but we sent them home immediately."
Friday's protest, Zyster explains, started with the disciplining of two students, "who were totally out of control".
"They were called in, and told they would not, under any circumstances, be allowed to behave like this, with that dress code. And then they decided to carry on with their protest.
"Let me be frank. We are not an affluent school, and the scenario is such that most of our parents have to leave home early in the morning. So even the parents have come out in support of the school's decision because most of the time they don't know what the child is wearing because they have already gone to work before the child leaves to school."
Lesufi has reached out to the parents of the students to arrange a meeting, and confirmed with HuffPost today that he would be attending the parents AGM next week to discuss the matter further.
"Things can spiral out of control very quickly, so we're keeping an eye on the school," Lesufi said.