Willow Reichelt, a Chilliwack school trustee, shared photos from her own school days to illustrate that young girls’ clothing shouldn’t be targeted. (Willow Reichelt image)

‘Modesty is important:’ B.C. trustee’s new dress code moves ahead despite opposition

Despite heated exchanges and wild claims, Chilliwack school board votes to move policy along

A proposed school district-wide dress code policy in Chilliwack that would allow girls to wear clothes such as “spaghetti straps” and short shorts is moving ahead after a heated debate.

The district currently doesn’t have a policy and leaves it up to each school to decide what is appropriate for students.

Trustee Willow Reichelt’s proposal is essentially less restrictive than the ones in place at each school, and focuses on student expression and family choices in clothing. She said it is almost identical to a policy in Victoria.

The school board voted 4-3 in favour of the policy in theory, depending on what comes out of session for public input.

RELATED STORY: Chilliwack school board to debate district wide dress codes

Trustees were strictly divided on the topic of students’ clothing, making several amendments, and some trustees claiming others were pushing an “ideology.”

“I do believe modesty is important,” said trustee Darrell Furgason, adding girls’ clothing distracts boys so the onus is on them to dress modestly.

“I think that’s wisdom for not causing distraction,” he said. “Not wearing revealing clothing is just wisdom.”

Furgason also said in his years as a teacher, he would have found it distracting to be sitting across from a girl who was “immodestly” dressed.

Heather Maahs called the proposal “micro-managing,” saying restrictions such as not showing bra straps protect vulnerable students from “predators.”

“Pimps” at Chilliwack Middle School are preying on girls who wear revealing clothes, she told the meeting, and who “look for the wrong kind of attention.”

Reichelt has said she’s fighting for a dress code policy that does not discriminate against girls.

t.co

In the public participation portion of the board meeting, Meghan Reid pointed to her daughter Charlotte’s modest outfit of a tank top, a heavy sweater, and jeans.

“She’s been dress-coded in this outfit,” Reid said, because a small portion of her bra strap was showing.

Reid, a former parent advisory council executive and a member of five such councils over the years, told the board that parents are not currently involved in the creation or amendments of the school-based dress codes.

RELATED STORY: B.C. high school girls go braless to protest dress code


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria Flamenco Festival goes virtual for 2020 event

The show will go online from July 23 to 26

Metchosin bird card project finds its wings

On display at Metchosin ArtPod from July 10 to 12

UVic research team creating virus-resistant washbasins for post-pandemic world

Civil engineer Rishi Gupta hopes basins will be installed in public spaces

Walk for Peace takes a virtual turn for Victoria Hospice

Residents can still register for Gordy Dodd’s 11th annual fundraiser

United Way Greater Victoria launches Hi Neighbour program in Esquimalt

Feedback sought from residents about funding for micro community projects

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read