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Are school dress codes discriminatory?

(Source: iStock)

One Chilliwack school trustee says dress codes are discriminatory

She's calling on the school board to drop dress codes entirely

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –¬†Girls should be focused on their education, not their clothes. That’s the message from a Chilliwack school trustee, who wants to scrap dress codes she calls unfair and discriminatory.

Willow Reichelt says when students go to school, they should be focused on their studies, not their clothes.

She’s a former teacher and a current Chilliwack school trustee, and says she’s always thought dress codes foster unhealthy attitudes towards female students.

“From the minute that I started teaching in the Chilliwack school district, I had a problem with the way dress codes are arbitrarily applied and tend to target female students particularly,” she told NEWS 1130.

“Virtually all of the schools have language in their dress codes that specifically addresses girls’ bodies, things like no spaghetti straps, no bra straps showing, no cleavage showing.”

Tank tops, short skirts, and yoga pants are just some of the clothing students can’t wear at schools in Chilliwack.

Reichelt is calling on the district to drop these dress codes entirely, instead of deciding what’s “appropriate” for students to wear in school.

She says that instead of having to worry about their clothing, young women should be engaged with their studies, and not whether or not men approve of their clothes.

“It’s not up to girls and women to cover their bodies to somehow make life easier for men and boys,” she says.¬†“It’s up to each individual person to manage their own distractions and manage their own desire.”

Reichelt is asking the district to drop dress codes entirely and is bringing the motion forward at a Chilliwack school board meeting on March 12.