One heartless teacher said we were better off without mats altogether, as we would then try harder not to fall in the first place!
Frank, It is comforting to share the same adolescent experiences,as I also had the same haircut style that you described.
The way they checked was we had to pull the top up at one side and pull the waist band out while the teacher walked down the line checking. So late, I was the only child and my mum chose all my clothes and put them out in sets after washing and ironing. I suppose she was used to the way boys were clothed then and wanted me to be the same.
I too had to shake off verbal abuse and hurtful remarks.
Even for boys of my age at that time,shorts were readily available,either off the peg at Marks or any school outfitter would supply them,even allowing to try them on in the shop,so a perfect fit could be achieved.
One of my worst experiences was when my father took me to the barbers in town after school.
It was November I wasn't allowed the trendy new hair styles of the time,parents kept it very short which added to my ridicule.