The current debate over dress codes in the Greater Victoria School District mainly centres around middle schools. File photo

School board dress code decision delayed

Trustee files motion to suspend enforcement of current code of conduct in the interim

A decision regarding the removal of dress codes at schools across Greater Victoria will have to wait a little longer as School District 61 trustees voted to send a recommendation back for further consultation at a meeting Monday night.

“I think we’re moving forward on this issue, not backwards,” said Trustee Jordan Watters, who has filed a motion to suspend the enforcement of school dress codes in the interim.

Of the 47 schools in SD61, only 22 have dress codes, and those are primarily middle schools, she said, adding it’s kids between the ages of 11 and 14 who are “really getting the brunt of this.”

She said she heard a teacher make reference to a female student who was “over-developed,” so it’s not just girls who are targeted by the current dress code, but certain girls.

The dress code debate has heard some decisive statements from board members, principals and teachers. But Watters thinks it’s just a lot of wasted time and energy that could be spent on learning, and supporting a more diverse idea about what is appropriate to wear to school.

“We need to stop policing bodies,” Watters said, recognizing the culture is deep seeded. She worries the broader message being sent is that boys are not responsible for their own feelings. As a mother of boys, she said, it’s demeaning to think they can’t control themselves or focus.

Watters is also concerned with the varied methods of enforcement of the current dress code, something she calls a real subjective decision. One parent contacted her to say the principal of her 11-year-old’s school called to say her daughter needed to wear a bra.

However, the success of a recently implemented gender expression and identity policy gives Watters hope.

“I’m certainly disappointed,” she said of last night’s decision. “But I’m supportive of ongoing consultations.”

Trustees will revisit the recommendation at a school board meeting Oct. 23.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Expect rolling street closures, bus delays as truck convoy moves through region Saturday

The annual Truck Light Convoy will roll through the region starting at 5:45 p.m.

Single mom caught up in Langford rental scam could be homeless for the holidays

Man took $3,900 cash for deposit and first month’s rent then disappeared

UPDATED: 64-year-old Victoria man David Atkins found

Atkins was found by Sooke RCMP on Saturday morning

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Most Read