'Harden up man' - firm views on school puffer jacket petition

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Opinion is running hot and cold on a 15-year old schoolgirl's petition for her school to make puffer jackets part of the uniform as winter bites at the top of the South Island.

A Motueka High School student’s petition to allow students to wear puffer jackets has become the subject of hot debate.
Source: 1 NEWS

Motueka High School student Jennifer Guthrie, who started the online petition, says with temperatures dropping many students have started to wear puffer jackets to keep warm.

Motueka High School

Source: 1 NEWS

However they aren't part of the regulation uniform and are often confiscated, she says, with students told to wear poorly made and expensive regulation jackets.

To make matters worse, the school's heating system is turned off before lunchtime and some students even bring hot water bottles, Miss Guthrie says.

On the ONE News Facebook page, Asheesh Gautam is with the students, posting: "The need for conformity and uniformity exceeds common sense.....the students should hire a lawyer and take the school to court for endangering the welfare of the students."

Heather Berge writes similarly: "I am sorry but it is about staying warm and not about wearing what the school says."

Rene Hunia is also defiant, sharing: "If my son's jacket got confiscated because he was wearing it when he was cold I would be down that school before u can say ...someone's head is gona roll!!!!"

But John Tike backs the school, telling the students to: "Harden up man. Follow rules and regulations. Wear an extra shirt under your uniform. More things to moan about then a puffy jacket."

Gail Leonard also thinks the students should obey the rules and suggests: "Maybe they should put a few more layers on under their shirts & wear the school jackets... like the good old days... & respect the rules!! A generation of no respect & soft as!!"

Many commenters wondered why the heaters are turned off, Fay Forman asking: "Why is the heating turned off before lunch time? would be more cost effective to leave it on and turn the temp down a little. No wonder the kids are wearing jackets, it's winter and it's COLD."

As for the school itself, Motueka High School principal Scott Haines has said the petition isn't a representation of the school community.

He added that students have four different types of jackets and jerseys available for purchase. And a uniform review in 2012 showed only 12% of parents, students and staff wanted another type of jacket, the most popular option being a hoodie.

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