An 11-Year-Old Student Just Scored A Huge Win For Girls In Western Australia

Yep, it’s 2017. And yep, Australian girls were still being forced to wear skirts to school — until now.

The phrase “girl power” may have been popularized in the 1990s, but the sentiment is alive and well in the Land Down Under. Recently, authorities in Western Australia instituted a rule change that allows girls to wear pants and shorts in public schools in the state. The change, which bucks decades of tradition, was prompted by an impassioned plea from Sofia Myhre, an 11-year-old student in Perth, Australia. Sofia’s handwritten letter to the state’s education minister, Sue Ellery, argued that being limited to skirts and dresses is “really unfair.”

“I think it’s really unfair that my brothers have been allowed to wear shorts, and all through primary school I haven’t been allowed to except when I have sport,” the tween wrote. “I really love kicking the footy, netball and doing handstands at recess and lunch. It is annoying doing these things in a skirt.”

Sofia’s mother, Krystina Myhre, is a member of Girl’s Uniform Agenda, a group that advocates for expanded dress code options for girls throughout Australia. Myhre encouraged her daughter to write to the department of education to express her feelings about the antiquated rule.

Sofia Myhre's letter to Western Australia's education minister.

“My daughter and her friends have been quite unhappy about it for some time,” Myhre said. She argued girls regularly opt out of sports and other physical activities because they don’t feel comfortable undertaking them in a dress. On the Girl’s Uniform Agenda website, Myhre’s group asks, “The wearing of dresses and skirts is no longer an expectation of women in society — so why do we continue to force this archaic stereotype on school girls?”

Apparently, Western Australia's state education minister agreed.

“An 11-year-old girl should be able to wear shorts to school,” Ellery told Perth Now. “In 2017, girls should be able to wear clothes that don’t restrict their ability to participate in physical activity at school.”

The rule change doesn’t apply to all of the schools in Western Australia, however. Private schools are exempt from having to offer female students expanded uniform options, and institutions in other parts of the country have been slow to adopt the measure. According to The New York Times, 70% of schools in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia's third largest city, require girls to wear skirts or dresses to school, which is likely similar in the country’s other states.

Still, momentum for nondiscriminatory uniform practices is growing. Recently, the education minister of Victoria, James Merlino, promised to ensure female students in the state will be allowed to have the option to wear shorts or trousers to school.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet