An Ottawa Liberal candidate is vowing to fight to end dress codes in schools, after students and parents raised concerns with a dress code “blitz” by staff at a French Catholic high school in Orléans this week.
The principal and senior staff at Beatrice-Desloges Catholic High School went to class on Thursday to remind students about the dress code in effect at the school, accoding to the French Catholic school board. The blitz provoked immediate outrage among parents and students, who say the actions went too far and seemed to be aimed only at female students.
Ottawa Vanier Liberal candidate Lucille Collard said on Twitter, “dress codes are so outdated and discriminatory. I’ll fight to get this practice to stop.”
Orleans Liberal candidate Stephen Blais said the school board trustee for the area has committed to a full investigation.
“Very concerned about the dress code incident at Béatrice-Desloges. Women should never be judged for what they wear,” Blais said on Twitter.
Cumberland councilor Catherine Kitts called the dress code blitz, along with the police response to a protest at the school on Friday, concerning.
“School action against young women who were aggressively targeted for dress code violations also appears wildly inappropriate,” Kitts said.
The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est superintendent of education Jason Dupuis admits the enforcement action by school staff could have been handled differently.”
The CECCE will review the dress code currently in place at Beatrice-Desloges High School and possibly make changes for the rest of the school year, according to the board.
“Looking at what we can change to be more in line of fashion of 2022,” Dupuis said.
Ottawa police say a youth who was not a student at the school and identified as trespassing was arrested at the scene. Police said the youth was the individual was escorted off the school property and released with no charges.
Coun. Jeff Leiper, who is a member of the Ottawa Police Services Board, said he had contacted police about the presence at the school.
“I have spoken with police to express my disagreement with physically taking control of the youth even if trespassing,” Leiper said on Twitter.
“I don’t immediately see the need to have escalated the situation. To those students who walked out: good on you. Keep calling out misogyny.”
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