Grade 12 student Jaylene Kuo from Courtenay asked her local school district for a simple, fair dress code. File photo/Comox Valley Record

Grade 12 student Jaylene Kuo from Courtenay asked her local school district for a simple, fair dress code. File photo/Comox Valley Record

‘Gender-specific’ items removed from B.C. district’s dress codes

School District 71 responded to student asking for neutral codes at all local schools

All Comox Valley public schools have now addressed their dress codes, says district assistant superintendent Geoff Manning.

He provided a brief update to school trustees at a board of education meeting in late November, saying all of the schools have changed language to make codes fair.

“Dress code, as you know, it’s been in the news nationally. It’s been in the news locally,” he said. “They’ve removed any language that refers to gender-specific clothing items. They’ve also removed the term ‘distracting.’”

Rather than a district-wide policy, local schools have set out codes for their own school communities. Manning added many schools are now simply making reference for students to be respectful to themselves and others, and some are not even mentioning dress codes specifically.

RELATED STORY: Courtenay student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Isfeld student Jaylene Kuo had first contacted the district in June after she noticed wording in her brother’s school’s dress code focusing heavily on female students, telling the Comox Valley Record it sent a message they should be ashamed of themselves and their bodies. She had already influenced her own secondary school to simplify its code prior to contacting the board for the October meeting.

“If you saw that local article,” Manning said, “she actually gave kudos to Isfeld for changing their dress code, and she was quite happy with the movement forward on that.”



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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