High School forces students to walk around in GITMO-esque orange boiler suits as punishment

The Press
Apr. 05, 2007

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Shirley Boys' High School is defending its practice of making students on detention walk around in orange overalls with words identifying them as work crew printed on the back.

The New Zealand Parent Teacher Association (NZPTA) says the practice is unacceptable humiliation that makes the students stand out unfairly.

Principal John Laurenson said the overalls were not intended to shame students. Instead, they were worn by those doing dirty work as part of their detention "purely to preserve the uniform".

"It is usually a punishment to fit the crime. If a boy's seen dropping litter, he picks up litter. If he's treading all over the rose garden, he might do weeding," he said.

Laurenson said parents and students had never complained about the overalls which had been in use for many years.

"The average fellow, he doesn't want to get mud or muck on his uniform," he said.

The Christchurch school's discipline ranged from reprimands to detentions. Counselling was sometimes offered.

NZPTA vice-president Margaret Mooney said the suits were "extremely radical" as they would make the student conspicuous.

"Making kids stand out in orange boiler suits is a form of humiliation," she said.

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