Dress codes at 22 local schools are getting a makeover, thanks to a recent decision by the Greater Victoria School District.
In a 7-2 vote, SD61 Trustees adopted a new code recognizing that “decisions about dress reflect individual expression of identity, socio-cultural norms and economic factors, and are intensely personal.”
In theory, the new rules will allow students to dress as they choose, provided their clothing “conforms with established health and safety requirements for the intended activity; and (does) not promote drugs or alcohol; display offensive language or images; or encourage discrimination.”
The changes only impact the 22, out of 25, SD61 schools that have dress codes.
Cloverdale Traditional Elementary School will keep a standard school uniform
End of a Two-Year Battle
For SD61 Trustee Jordan Watters, the dress code changes mark the end of a long, arduous battle.
Well it took 2 years, 16 meetings, 48 parent letters, 8 community presentations, and a relentless focus – but we got it…
“I don’t think we’re in the business of policing children’s bodies. I think we’re in the business of education,” Watters told All Points West host Robyn Burns in 2016.
At the time, Watters also said the previous dress codes primarily targeted female students, despite the use of the seemingly gender-neutral phrase, “distraction-free environment”.
Now, with the new codes in place, Watters wrote that “we [have taken] the first step towards a future where no body is a distraction and all children are welcome to express themselves without fear of shame.”