Emilyn Lai / Edge columnist
According to a Global News article by Amy Judd, titled “B.C. dad angry daughter’s turtleneck and dress outfit was deemed inappropriate for school”, Karis Wilson, a twelfth grader was recently sent home for wearing an outfit that had apparently violated her high school’s dress code.
The clothes she wore to school that day included a turtleneck and a knee-length dress over it. 20 minutes into class, her teacher, a woman, told Wilson that her outfit was making her and a male student teacher uncomfortable, and she was sent to the principal’s office. Wilson, almost in tears, was given the choice to go home to change and return , or to stay home.
Her school district’s dress code specifies that students may not wear clothing that is “worn in a way that detracts from the teaching/learning process.”
If anything is detracting from the learning process it is having a student stay home from school because of what they chose to wear that day.
Dress codes are sexist, and the policing of student’s clothing needs to stop. The dress code is also disproportionately enforced upon female students compared to male students. Far too many times have female students been told to ‘cover up’ and have been humiliated by a teacher or school staff for wearing a tank top.
Many dress codes have rules against form-fitting clothing and garments that are ‘revealing’, because such outfits can be too ‘distracting’ in the classroom. A lot of them also mention spaghetti straps, crop tops, and the appropriate length of skirts. These are all blatant rules pointed at the female student. Girls, women, anybody, should not be responsible for the feelings that other people have concerning their appearances.
The dress code should not be completely abolished. While it should not penalize simple garments like skirts and tank tops, a new dress code would instead omit clothing that promotes hate speech or include offensive symbols like racist and homophobic images. But it is rare to hear of a student wearing such hateful clothing.
Students who attend Gleneagle are fortunate enough to not have the strictest of dress codes, however there are some Gleneagle students who have experienced a Gleneagle staff member tell them to change in the past. It is still important that the school community bring attention to this issue.
People change, fashion changes , and rules should change with it.
Let the kids create, let the kids wear what they want.