After a student in Spain was reportedly kicked out of his school for wearing a skirt, educators have come together to stand up for diversity and tolerance.

By Maressa Brown
June 02, 2021
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Teens often find their wardrobe a helpful tool for self-expression, exploring identity, and simply finding what feels comfortable. But kids are still regularly targeted for their clothing choices, especially if they're not in line with gender stereotypes. Consider the fact that last fall, a boy in Spain was expelled for wearing a skirt. But now, male teachers and students are standing in solidarity with the 15-year-old.

Mikel Gómez was reportedly kicked out of Virgen de Sacedón primary school in Valladolid and forced to see a psychologist after wearing a skirt in an effort to promote gender nonconformity. At the time, Gómez shared his experience on TikTok, racking up 2 million views.

Now, his educators, led by math teacher Jose Piñas, have created a movement they're calling #ClothesHaveNoGender or #LaRopaNoTieneGenero.

Piña shared that he had an experience similar to Gómez's. "20 years ago, I suffered persecution and insults for my sexual orientation in the institute where I am now a teacher," he shared on Twitter. "Many teachers, they looked the other way. 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."

Fellow instructors Manuel Ortega, 37, and Borja Velúquez, 36, joined the cause, according to El Pais, opting to wear skirts daily throughout May. They were inspired to get involved after a bully lobbed a homophobic insult at a boy in Ortega's class. Velázquez pointed out that it's a teacher's job to open a debate on tolerance and diversity.

He also tweeted that he was standing up for "a school that educates with respect, diversity, co-education, and tolerance."

An image of a skirt on a colorful background.
Credit: Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

In the weeks since speaking out and wearing skirts, the teachers' efforts appear to have paid off. Students joined the chorus in support of Gómez, and hundreds of boys wore skirts on November 4. Both male and female alumni also gathered in skirts over the past six months to join the protest.

The chorus of voices has led the Institute to offer a course on gender equality. Here's hoping that's just the start of a wave of progress.