Forest Lake State School Scraps a Cherished Senior Class Tradition

A cherished and longstanding tradition for Year 6 students at Forest Lake State School will no longer be observed after the school administration decided to scrap senior shirts which have the full list of names of the students on the back.

In an email sent to parents of the senior students, the Forest Lake State School administration cited privacy, consent and inclusion as some of the deciding factors for doing away with this tradition. 

The school explained the need to be conscious of protecting the identities of the students and realised that they have to get the parent or guardian’s consent before printing the names on the back of the shirt. 

As for inclusivity, the school explained that completely scrapping the names will avoid feelings of alienation or not belonging to the community from the most vulnerable students, whose parents might not consent to have their names on the shirt. 

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A suggestion to use just the first names was also turned down because there are a number of Year 6 students with unique names and spelling, which would clearly identify their cultural background. 

Some students have been disappointed with this decision, especially those who have older siblings from Forest Lake State School, as they have been looking forward to getting their Year 6 shirts. 

One mother said that she understood that victims of domestic violence might prefer not to have their children’s names on the shirt but she also felt that rest of the school community shouldn’t “suffer” from this.

Another parent said that they were not consulted before the school administration made the call. 

In place of the names, the school said that the Year 6 shirts will have a unique design that will serve as a valuable memento.