(Left to right) Manuel Ortega, Borja Velazquez and Jose Piñas are among the male teachers in Spain wearing skirts to school to breakdown gender norms (Pictures: Twitter/borjamusico/joxepinas)
Male teachers are wearing skirts to the classroom to fight stereotypical gender norms in Spain.
Teachers across the country have joined the Clothes Have No Gender (#laropanotienegenero) movement, sparked after a boy was expelled for wearing a skirt to school last year.
Manuel Ortega, 37, and Borja Velazquez, 36, are the latest to ditch their trousers for the stereotypically female attire after one of their pupils was bullied in class this month.
The pair wanted to show support after the boy was mocked for wearing an anime t-shirt at the Virgen de Sacedon primary school in Valladolid.
He was called homophobic slurs and ended up changing out of embarrassment.
Mr Ortega was horrified and since the beginning of May has been wearing a skirt to class, along with colleague Mr Velazquez, to ‘promote tolerance’.
He tweeted: ‘A school that educates with respect, diversity, co-education and tolerance. Dress how you want! We join the campaign #clotheshavenogender.’
The men told El Pais their decision to wear skirts was not just for a viral social media moment.
They wanted to ‘increase tolerance and respect’ while extending the invitation for other teachers to do the same.
The movement began on October 27 last year when a student named Mikel Gomez was expelled and referred to psychologists after wearing a skirt to a school in Bilbao, the Basque Country.
The boy shared a now-viral video on TikTok in November explaining that he had wanted to show support for feminism and diversity.
Since then, November 4 has become ‘wear a skirt to school day’ while hundreds of students and teachers have joined the movement to show solidarity.
Teacher Jose Piñas decided to start wearing a skirt to class last year.
Tweeting a photo of himself in the attire, he said: ‘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.
Mr Velazquez was inspired to wear a skirt after a pupil at his school was bullied over a t-shirt he was wearing (Picture: Twitter/@borjamusico)
Mr Ortega was inspired to act after witnessing one of his pupils receiving homophobic insults over an anime t-shirt (Picture: Twitter/@borjamusico)
Mr Piñas was one of the first teachers to join the skirt movement after Mikel Gomez was expelled for wearing one last year (Picture: Twitter/@joxepinas)
‘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.’
The teachers have received mostly praise from parents online.
One wrote: ‘My son (13 years old) went to class with a skirt yesterday. They had agreed between several students to do it… I’m proud.’
Another said: ‘Congratulations on your attitude. High schools are sometimes very hard for students, you have to know how to be aware of it and position yourself without nuances to guarantee yourself safety from attacks.’
Others criticised the teachers, questioning if the movement was necessary.
One said: ‘I am neither homophobic, nor xenophobic, nor racist, nor anything similar, but in my early forties the reason why boys go to school in skirts escapes me. Is it really necessary?’
Another added: ‘Long live equality, how did you not put some heels and a little mascara in your eye? … Please no.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.