Some female students in SD61 have been sent home for wearing leggings, prompting a debate around how outdated the district’s current code of conduct might be. Contributed photo

SD61 dress code still a debate

Trustee encourages parents to speak up at Dec. 18 meeting, represent a progressive voice

When school district 61 meets Monday evening (Dec. 18) for its monthly public meeting, the dress code will once again be on the agenda.

At an education policy committee meeting Dec. 4, a motion was struck to form a new committee to deal with the contentious issue of what a student can and cannot wear. However, an ad-hoc committee – a temporary advisory committee to deal with a specific issue – was already formed to make a decision on the dress code, which falls under the larger code of conduct.

Trustee Jordan Watters says at this point, it just feels like the board is “driving us in circles.”

“If there needs to be more consultation, great. But let’s move forward in that,” Watters says.

RELATED: School board dress code decision delayed

The dress code debate is more pressing in middle schools where students in SD61 have been sent home for wearing tank tops and leggings, clothing that under the current code of conduct is considered “inappropriate.” Watters says parents are complaining to principals at individual schools, but not to BC CPAC, an advisory body designed to open dialogue around such concerns.

“Progressive parents are going to need to step up,” says Watters, who worries the voice of parents at the negotiating table isn’t accurate because of a lack of representation.

Watters knows the support is out there saying she’s heard from many parents with strong convictions who are excited to see a new age in the district, starting with the code of conduct.

“The parents who care about the dress code [need to] show up to the meeting,” she says. “They need to make sure their voice is heard.”

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18 at the Tolmie Board Office (556 Boleskine Rd.) and all members of the public are welcome to attend.

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