On Nov. 23, Crispin School in Street, Somerset, published a Facebook post to “emphasize the link between success and footwear,” with a picture of a student’s worn-out ballet flats. The state-funded academy school said that “sharply dressed” students are more likely to achieve success in subjects such as math, sports and art. The school’s town is also the founding place for the manufacturer of Clarks footwear, which Crispin referenced as another reason to pay special attention to shoe choices in the post.
“Those students achieving are wearing the correct footwear,” read the post. “Admittedly, some students would have reached for the polish had they known their feet would be under the spotlight, but the correlation between success, doing the right things and being helpful students is a strong one.”
But the post soon drew a flurry of commenters, some of whom accused Crispin School of elitism and “snobbery” toward students who cannot afford nice shoes.
“What a shame that this school now seems to place more emphasis on uniform than accomplishments,” Becky Norris commented on the post.
“This is shaming and bullying poor people,” parent Nadine Cole wrote. “Disgraceful.”
A school representative later issued a statement apologizing for the Facebook post, saying that the school wanted to give “all students the best chance to learn regardless of their background.”