Change Dress Code Disciplinary Procedure
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Recently, along with the warming weather, Kingsville District High School's administration and teachers have begun to heavily dress code students. With new administration comes new sets of values and ways of disciplining. This new process operates in an arbitrary manner that includes everything from dress coding
- long sleeve sweaters and long pants simply because a sliver of stomach can be seen while walking
- off the shoulder tops because they are too "revealing"
- bra straps because they are deemed inappropriate for school
- any shirt where any part of the stomach is showing
Here's the 'official' dress code. (page 15)
These regulations are being implemented in a way that is discriminatory against women and contributes to body shaming.
Let's face it. ~90% of the 'offenders' are girls. The principal recently said to me that "it's because they're the only ones wearing revealing clothing ... and that's simply not appropriate for school". Apparently there is some sort of relationship between the right to receive an education and the amount of skin showing. Just today, admin threatened to send people home who were breaking the dress code so that they could change. (How, I wonder, if they student doesn't live in town, do they plan on making the student go home?) By pulling people out of class, they are showing that they value their appearance more than their education.
Another thing that had been said to me in defence of the dress code was that they "don't want to see body parts". This idea of shaming students - young women - for simply showing their shoulders/legs/peek of their stomach indicates to them that they are nothing more than just their ever-sexualized bodies.
According to the Provincial Code of Conduct, "All members of the school community must treat one another with dignity and respect at all times". It also states that principals should be "empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community". By reducing students - the majority of them young women - to what they are wearing is demoralizing and wrong. We must do better.
By reviewing the disciplinary process as well as the dress code itself, the school can become a safer, healthier environment that puts education first by:
- not taking students out of class to speak with them
- making a judgement call - factoring in the temperature outside, the rest of the outfit, etc
- addressing that girls are feeling targeted (meaning this policy does the opposite of producing a safe school environment)
- loosening the rules of the dress code to include spaghetti straps/halter tops/off shoulder tops (because shoulders really shouldn't be worth missing class)
This petition will be shown at the next parent council meeting where we will show administration the voice of the school. Please show your support for changing this problematic system.
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