A copy of HSS’s new dress code (Facebook photo)

B.C. mom upset by dress code’s disproportionate targeting of girls

Mother of Grade 10 student also not happy about northwestern school district’s lack of consultation

A new dress code at a high school in northwest B.C. has irked a few parents for its guidelines for girls.

Anissa Watson is a mother of four, with one of her daughters in Grade 10 at Hazelton Secondary School, near Smithers.

She said her daughter recently brought home the district’s revised dress code.

“She said, ‘Mom, look at this,’” Watson said. “It was mostly images of women’s bodies and with lines pointing to different things the schools did not want the girls to be wearing.”

The image, obtained by The Interior News, appears to show eight individuals – six girls and two boys – wearing various examples of prohibited clothing.

“Don’t wear: clothing that does not provide adequate coverage of your body,” it reads, referring to images of girls.

“Don’t wear: backless tops or clothes with revealing holes or tears.”

However, another illustration shows a boy wearing a baggy tank top with ripped sleeves and saggy jeans, with the jeans being labelled as against the code.

Carole Gagnon, executive assistant for School District 82, said schools are required to update their dress codes annually to comply with their overall code of conduct.

“Working with young adults at this time of year [when the temperatures increase] can become problematic when students make choices around wardrobe that may or may not be consistent with … the school code of conduct,” she said in an email.

READ MORE: B.C. legislature speaker says sleeveless dresses are OK

The school has a new administrative team, she said, so rewriting the dress code “only recently came to light as a potential issue.”

Watson said she supports a dress code and a larger conversation around what’s appropriate for kids to wear to school, but adds this initiative wasn’t even properly introduced.

“There was no preamble from the school, no consultation with parents, no consultations with students.

“My first thought was, ‘Oh, I was at the school yesterday helping out as a volunteer [and] I broke dress code – I wore a tank top.’ It was 27 degrees, you know?”

She added she was bothered by the emphasis on girls ostensibly distracting boys by what they are wearing.

“My daughter was told that she shouldn’t wear something that [will] cause a boy to have to cover his eyes to walk down the hallway, that’s my concern. The dress code isn’t there to teach the students about respect and professionalism,” she said. She added that when her daughter expressed concerns to a male teacher, she was told she was being immature.

Watson said she’s talked to other parents, who are concerned as well.

RELATED: B.C. trustee’s new dress code moves ahead despite opposition

RELATED: ‘Disgusting and shameful’: B.C. trustees’ dress code debate irks union head

Gagnon said the current dress code is an interim measure and that the school and the district will take input from parents on revisions.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

REVIEW: ‘Grace and Glorie’ a moving tale of death and friendship

Two women convey characters convincingly and with humour

Jordie Lunn, world-renowned mountain biker from Parksville, dies in accident

The 36-year-old was with friends trail riding in Cabo San Lucas when the accident happened

Island man restores 1962 Qualicum Beach fire truck he bought for $1

Vintage vehicle in working order and ready to hit the road

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Most Read