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

Elijah Beauregard, 16, was stabbed in downtown Kelowna on June 27, 2019. He died of his wounds three days later in hospital. His family is raising money to put a memorial bench at his favourite skatepark in Penticton.
Young woman charged in stabbing death of Penticton teen pleads guilty

The teen, who can’t be named, will appear in Kelowna Supreme Court Tuesday

Royal LePage Arena was an addition to West Kelowna championed by Len Novakowski. (File photo)
West Kelowna community leader Novakowski dies

Former Westside regional district director Len Novakowski dies after lengthy health battle

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A crane stands in the middle of a fire-ravaged Glenmore Road construction site on Thursday, April 8. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Evacuation order remains in effect around burned Glenmore Road construction site

Assessment of potentially risky crane to take place this afternoon

Kelowna-based company GTEC Cannabis Co. has paid off $6 million in debts. (GTEC Cannabis Co. - Facebook)
Kelowna cannabis company pays off $6M debt

GTEC Cannabis Co. is now one of the few debt-free companies in the sector

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

A car sheared a Hydro pole and the driver was pinned by a fence pole on 43rd Avenue Saturday, April 10. (Carmen Jaster photo)
Suspected impaired driver ‘lucky to be alive’ after crash in Vernon yard

Impaired driving investigation underway after driver shears Hydro pole and narrowly misses being impaled

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

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Interior Health improves access to mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock)
Interior Health connects people to mental health resources amid COVID

310-MHSU line receives positive feedback in early months of rollout

Most Read