Uniform chaos at John Gray


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
stay put.

“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.


A long line of parents and students waited in the heat to get school uniforms.
Photo: Eugene Bonthuys


  1. You would think in an economic time like this, we would have resorted to keeping our original school uniforms! But apparently, we are being forced to wait in lines and to pay big bucks for new uniforms we don’t need!

    H-E-L-L-O is someone in government awake?

  2. Is it not time to let the retail clothing stores handle this? There is a lot of wasted man hours here for parents standing in line as well as the tremendous stress the PTA must be under to deliver. Maybe its time to redefine the role of PTA’s. This is a great testament to the parents commitment to their children, in many other countries, this would not have been peaceful or uneventful.

  3. I am a 15yr (yr 11) old attending JGHS. I think the education system needs stop taking the world on their heads. Making all this changes & cant handle it. We have to wear ‘formal clothes’ because they have no uniforms, what about the ones who don’t have the right clothes they want us to wear? Its our money that is spent on uniforms and they cant expect us to buy new clothes or whatever for a one time thing.They are just unorganized and they are trying to do so many project at once. Is always this year group going in 11 have had messed up years. Its like we’re a test year for everything. Its ridiculous.

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