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

UPDATE: West Kelowna house fire not suspicious

The fire at a West Kelowna condo claimed the life of one tenant’s cat

Looking for artwork of historic South Okanagan landmark for exhibition

The SS Sicamous Marine Heritage Society is looking for artwork for an exhibition

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Rainy days ahead

Rain in the forecast until Wednesday

All things solar at Okanagan winery exhibit

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is hosting a solar event April 6

For New York artist from the darkness comes light

Light has a spiritual life of its own for New York artist who opens his show March 30 in Penticton

Video: Shuswap home to thriving community of beekeepers

Apiary operators share details about how they keep their hives healthy

Westwold stars in thriller film

Beyond the Woods set to release in June 2019

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Career fair an open door to opportunity

Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair takes place Thursday, April 11 in Kelowna

New Okanagan burger restaurant offers gluten-free, meatless options

Bin 4 Burger Lounge is open for business in Kelowna

VIDEO: Dramatic fire destroys Surrey home

A freelancer at the scene said occupants made it out of the Fraser Heights house safely

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Most Read