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.

Just Posted

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Local grocery store steps up to help resident after Saanich jams her stand

Pepper’s Foods will start selling jams previously sold through roadside stand

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Federal government commits $9.1 million toward UVic Indigenous Law building

Contribution supports Canada’s first Canada’s first Indigenous Law program

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read