Greater Victoria School District dress codes ‘sending wrong messages:’ Trustee

Greater Victoria School District dress codes 'sending wrong messages:' Trustee

WATCH: Dress codes are back on the agenda for Greater Victoria schools as the board will review the current policies during a committee meeting Monday night. Isabelle Raghem has more. 

A recommendation is being brought forward to change Greater Victoria School District dress codes.

“They say don’t show your boobs, don’t show your butt and you have to put up your arms and if it lifts up, then you can’t wear the shirt,” said one female Grade 9 student.

Students tell CHEK News those are just some of the rules girls are told to follow at Victoria High School.

“There’s a lot of drama over it. Teachers would talk to other teachers about me because of what I wore,” she said.

A sub-committee of the District’s One learning Community Committee, tasked to review principles of dress, is looking to change that.

“What we’re doing is asking is all the schools take out any of the specific dress codes and replace it with a statement about valuing diversity and getting rid of any form of discrimination,” said SD61 Trustee and sub-committee member, Jordan Watters.

The new recommended code would state “actions through verbal or nonverbal communication including clothing must demonstrate support for the BC Human Rights Code,” and”the school code of conduct won’t include any other statements regarding expectations of dress. ”

They will be presenting the recommendation during a monthly committee meeting at the board office on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. The public is welcome.

“That statement will replace the more prescriptive dress code, the width of straps and length of shorts, so out of with that and in with human rights,” Watters said.

The trustee says a few schools in the district already scrapped their dress codes but the proposed change would apply to all schools.

She adds dress codes that prohibit “distracting clothing” sends the wrong messages.

“They have a way of making the focus rather than modesty, which is where I think the intention is, and puts it more on shame and deliver messages about who’s learning we value — which is boys because we don’t want them to be distracted,” Watters said.

The recommendation will be presented Monday. The school board will make its decision Sept. 25.

Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!