Too many earthquakes: Stilettos banned in Italian school over safety concerns

© Stephen Hird
An Italian college in the seismically active southern region of Abruzzo has decided that high heels are no longer safe to wear in the area, demanding that its students and staff to switch to more comfortable, plainer and flatter variants.

Heels higher than four centimeters, platform shoes and flip-flops are now outlawed in L'Instituto Technico Industriale in the city of Avezzano as college authorities issue a decree aimed at reducing the rate of accidents caused by footwear.

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“The directive is not the fruit of some overly puritanical imagination, but comes down to the need to educate students about safety, especially in an area of high seismic activity.” Anna Amanzi, head of L'Instituto Technico Industriale in Avezzano told Ansa.

But whether coincidentally or not, the ban is just the latest in a series of measures that have hit fashion-conscious students. Miniskirts and low-rise jeans have already fallen victim to regulations. This time, however, the authorities have come up with what seems to be a legitimate reason for clothing limitations

Neither students nor faculty are satisfied with the recently introduced changes.
“I have never come to school wearing heels, and this measure seems really excessive,” said a member of teaching staff.

While the decision does indeed seem strange in a country that boasts a rich fashion history, no one seems ready to fight for their right to wear classy shoes.

“I've never seen a teacher or a groupmate wearing heels,” commented a student.

“They should think about more serious issues,” said another student. “Like how to heat the school properly.”

Earthquakes pose a real danger to the region: A series of quakes rocked the city in 2009, killing 286 people. There are more recent examples from 2015, which fortunately did not claim any lives.

The city still hasn’t fully recovered from the devastating aftermath of the 2009 earthquake and many buildings are still undergoing repair work.