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)

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

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: Town of Smithers lifts alert for high levels of chlorine in water

Residents are advised town water is now safe to use

Garry Merkel has been recognized for his work in culturally appropriate Indigenous education with an honourary doctorate from the University of British Columbia.
Tahltan educator recognized with honorary doctorate from UBC

Garry Merkel has dedicated his life to improving Indigenous educational outcomes

Gareth Manderson, general manager BC Works, and Bandstra’s Zach Runions and Steve Collins. Photo supplied
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read