School in Italy bans high heels over earthquake concerns

ROME: A school in central Italy has reportedly banned high heels fearing they could hamper swift evacuation during an earthquake, British media reported.


According to the new rules, which apply both to students and staff, not only heels measuring more than 4cm (1.6 inches) are prohibited but also flip-flops and wedges are also banned at the secondary school in Avezzano, a town in the seismically active province of L’Aquila.

The decision was taken after the school’s administration reviewed data on the number of injuries sustained while wearing different types of footwear, the Ansa news agency reported.

Talking to the agency, head teacher Anna Amanzi said, “The directive isn’t the result of a puritanical imagination,” adding that it was a serious requirement “to teach students prevention and education, especially in a high-risk seismic zone.”

However, some at the school feel the measure is unnecessary. “I have never come to school in heels, but to me this measure seems really excessive,” one teacher was quoted as saying, while a student said the school authorities should focus on “more serious things for example heating the school”.

The region suffered a devastating earthquake in 2009, which killed 309 people and damaged an estimated 10,000 buildings in the city of L’Aquila and nearby towns and villages.