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NSW School Controversy: Boys Go To Bunnings, Girls Get Makeovers

A dad's letter has gone viral after he called out his daughter's school

A letter written by a NSW dad has gone viral after he called out his daughter’s school for separating the boys and girls into apparent gendered activities.

Stephen Callaghan, 51, from Wongarbon in NSW tweeted a letter he wrote to his young daughter’s school, Dubbo West Public, where he blasted them for sending the boys in her class to Bunnings, while the girls were given a ‘makeover’.

“When Ruby left for school yesterday it was 2017 but when she returned home in the afternoon she was from 1968,” the dad wrote in the letter that’s been shared thousands of times.

‘I know this to be the case as Ruby informed me that the “girls” in Year 6 would be attending the school library to get their hair and make-up done on Monday afternoon while the “boys” are going to Bunnings.

Ruby’s school responded to the letter, with the department of education telling that the school had a long tradition of students being treated to light hair and makeup on the day of the children’s graduation, but that some years ago the boys’ activity was replaced with a trip to Bunnings.

“Several years ago, the visit to Bunnings replaced the previous boys’ activity. The school is happy to accommodate any student who prefers the alternative activity. 

“No parents or students have approached the school with concerns about the choice of activities,” the school said in their statement.

Reactions to the letter have overwhelmingly supported Stephen’s stance.

“I’d much prefer Bunnings!” wrote another of Steve’s Twitter followers. “I had to fight to do maths enrichment instead of grooming and deportment classes when I was at school. I was the only girl in that class.”

And another added their own experience of calling out gender discrimination in aviation.

“This reminds me of Women In Aviation Week a few years ago, where an event invitation ended with “Ladies: Bring a plate,’” added another user. “I wrote back and suggested that maybe they mistyped “plane,” and should issue a correction.”

Today, new data today showed that many girls and young women feel their gender gets in the way of them having a successful career.

The MyRoad Careers Survey asked 1000 young Australian girls and women whether they thought boys had more career opportunities than girls. One out of every three girls in years 10 to 12 agreed that they thought this to be true.

Almost half believed their gender could stand in the way of their career.

The would-be female tradies at Dubbo West Public School would probably agree they have a point.

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