Parents spent hours in the blazing
sun on Thursday morning, waiting to pick up new school uniforms at John Gray
High School. According to a hand written sign on the gate, ‘unforeseen
circumstances’ had caused the pickup of uniforms to be delayed until 2
September, from 10am to 4pm.
However, by 11am, Dalaica Wright, a
parent at the school, had yet to see the line of waiting parents move.
“We have not moved, I have been at
the same spot for 30 minutes,” said Ms Wright.
Along with other parents she tried
to find what shade was available, but even the shade could only do so much.
Many parents decided to leave, with some asking friends in the queue to phone
them when there was movement.
However, Ms Wright had decided to
“I am going to wait, because I need
to get the uniform and I don’t have another day to come back and wait. I have
done this before during the month of August to wait to prepay and it was the same
thing, we waited for hours. It is just hot and sweaty and uncomfortable, but
for our children I guess we have to do it,” she said.
Many parents in the queue
complained about the timing of the uniform pickup as well, as it took place in
the heat of the day and was a great inconvenience to those who had to take time
off from work to be there.
Lasanya Chamberlain, a Year 11
student, was waiting in line with her mother. She was not convinced that the
new uniforms were a good idea.
“I think that they should just have
kept the old ones, because it is going to be more complicated since they added
the middle school to it. It is just a lot of complications in getting them
because a lot of people are here for this particular day they set forth and it
is hard to get the uniforms,” she said while seeking shelter from the sun
against the building’s wall.
With school starting on Monday, Ms
Chamberlain was concerned that it would be impossible for everyone to get their
uniforms in time.
“That would stir another conflict –
what will we wear to school? They should just have made it earlier – put the
dates earlier, ordered them earlier. But a couple of days before school it
can’t work,” she said.
According to Ms Wright, the impact
of waiting for the uniforms extended much wider than just the parents and
children waiting in the sun.
“This is a bit inconvenient for us
parents who are at work – look at the amount of people and we all have to ask
our employer for time to come out here, so it is affecting the entire
community,” she said.
However, in spite of everything,
she remained upbeat.
“At the end of the day I think
everybody will get the uniforms and it will be worth the wait,” she said.