An American singer-songwriter has weighed in on the uniform skirt length debate embroiling an Auckland high school.
Skirt hemlines have become a heated topic at Henderson High School after above-the-knee skirts were deemed a "distraction" to male students and teachers.
American neo-soul singer Erykah Badu took to social media to weigh in on the issue, with a series of tweets.
"There was an article ruling that high school girls lower their skirts so male teachers are not distracted. I agreed because ...
" ... I am aware that we live in a sex l-driven society. It is everyone's, male and female's, responsibility to protect young ladies ..." she wrote.
" ... one way to protect youth is to remind them we are all sexual in nature and as they grow and develop it is natural to attract men ...
" ... I want my daughters to understand this. I want them to be themselves and wear what they like, yet be aware. Not ignore our differences ...
" ... But do I think it is unnatural for a heterosexual male 2b attracted to a young woman in a revealing skirt? No. I think it is his nature ...
"Being attracted to a young woman in a short skirt does not make one a "pervert" It makes them human," she wrote.
A group of Year 11 students at Henderson High School were called into a meeting following a uniform check at a school assembly last week and informed by deputy principal Cherith Telford their skirts would need to be lowered to the knees to "stop boys from getting ideas", MediaWorks reported.
Year 11 student Sade Tuttle, who was in the group, said the rules themselves weren't the problem but it was the rationale behind them.
"The rules themselves aren't the problem; the problem is when these codes target girls specifically because their bodies are sexual and distracting," she said.
The school's principal, Mike Purcell, told MediaWorks that the rules were not new to parents and all families were made aware of them when their children were enrolled.
"The uniform is practical for school wear and these rules are regularly enforced to ensure that all students can focus on their learning and feel comfortable in the school environment," he said.
"As principal, I make no apology for insisting on high standards throughout the school and I have high expectations. That includes wearing the uniform according to the agreed rules".