Why Are Spanish Male Teachers Wearing Skirts?

Male teachers in Spain have been wearing skirts to school as part of a campaign challenging gender stereotypes. 

The Clothes Have No Gender (#LaRopaNoTieneGenero) movement was launched by Maths teacher Jose Piñas in November after one of his students was expelled and forced to visit a psychologist after wearing a skirt to school.

The drive gathered pace again last month when Manuel Ortega, 37, and Borja Velaquez, 36, of Virgen de Sacedon primary school in Valladolid ditched their trousers for skirts.

The pair put their knees in the breeze for the month of May after seeing one of their students bullied with homophobic insults for wearing a t-shirt featuring an anime character, forcing him to change outfit.

Ortega said he was ‘horrified’ by the merciless teasing, which prompted him to team up with Velaquez and ‘promote tolerance’ by wearing a skirt for the month of May.

He wrote on Twitter:  ‘A school that educates with respect, diversity, co-education and tolerance. Dress how you want! We join the campaign #clotheshavenogender.’

The pair told El Pais they had seen a noticeable a positive change in students’ behaviour since they started wearing the skirts.

But, they insist these results are only ‘the tip of the iceberg’ and say the school should do more to promote respect and tolerance in the classroom.

Basque Country teacher Piñas launched the movement in November after realising little had changed from his school days 20 years ago.

Posting a picture of him wearing a skirt in front of a chalk board, he wrote: ’20 years ago I suffered persecution and insults for my sexual orientation in the institute where I am now a teacher.

‘Many teachers, they looked the other way. I want to join the cause of the student, Mikel, who has been expelled and sent to the psychologist for going to class with a skirt.’

Mikel Gomez, 15, has since taken to TikTok to document the flood of support he has received since November.

The video, which has racked up millions of views, has prompted others, including students, to take the challenge and garnered praise from teachers and parents online.

Others have criticised the teachers, questioning whether the movement is necessary.

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