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Kamloops school district updates dress code after student sent home for turtleneck-dress outfit

Click to play video: 'Kamloops student sent home from school over dress code concerns' Kamloops student sent home from school over dress code concerns
A Kamloops grade 12 student was sent home from school over concerns about dress code infractions. But she says her attire did not violate the dress code, and she's being punished for other people's behaviour. John Hua reports – Feb 24, 2021

Dress code revisions have been introduced by the Kamloops-Thompson School District, the same district where a Grade 12 student was sent home for wearing a dress over a turtleneck earlier this year.

Karis Wilson gained national attention when she was asked to leave the school in February after claims that a male teacher’s assistant at NorKam Secondary felt “uncomfortable” with her attire.

Read more: B.C. dad angry daughter’s turtleneck and dress outfit was deemed inappropriate for school

Her dad took to Facebook to speak out on the issue.

“My beautiful, Grade 12, 17-year-old daughter went to school today feeling excited, feeling good about herself, ready to learn and she sat down in class and after a short period of time, was centred out by the teacher, and was told the outfit she was wearing made, or could make, her or the teacher’s assistant, who is a male, feel uncomfortable,” her father Chris said at the time.

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The district says the dress code update is the result of a stakeholder consultation process that began in December 2020.

Click to play video: 'School dress code debate' School dress code debate
School dress code debate – Feb 28, 2021

“We recognize that a student’s choice of dress reflects their self-identity,” board chair Rhonda Kershaw said. “This revised dress code provides students the freedom to dress in any way they choose, within a safe and inclusive framework.”

The revision prohibits clothing that undermines the principles of safety and inclusivity, including the promotion of hatred, illegal activity, obscenity, profanity, or obscene images.

It doesn’t make mention of the case involving Wilson, but her father has said the previous code stated students were “not to wear clothing that is distracting to teaching or learning.”

— With files from Amy Judd

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