As the weather warms up, most Victorians will be digging out their summer attire.
But according to one local middle school, that may pose a problem, and they’ve gone as far as to say this type of clothing could be considered “distracting or disruptive” to other students.
Spencer Middle School in Langford sent out an email to parents on Monday outlining their dress code policy, beginning it with, “As the sun comes out and the temperatures begin to warm up, the clothes seem to come off.”
The email goes on to state that the school is a “place of business,” and that “clothes and appearance must not create a distracting or disruptive situation in the class room.”
But one parent at Spencer Middle School says this is simply not acceptable.
Tina Clark, whose son attends grade seven at Spencer, believes that there are bigger issues at hand than just the wording of the policy.
“I just think it specifically targets children that identify as female,” Clark said in an interview with Victoria Buzz.
“As a mother of a boy, I’m also insulted – the policy implies that boys are incapable of controlling themselves around girls.”
The letter sent to parents yesterday is below:
The Spencer Middle School website also detailed the policy – which has since been removed – stating that clothing with thin straps, bare midriffs, short shorts or low-cut fronts is not permitted.
It also says that backpacks and purses are not permitted in class, which leads to a whole other host of issues, Clark continued.
“Girls could need menstrual products in class, and if I sent my son with something he needed in school, I would not expect him to have to go to his locker to get it.”
“It’s just archaic,” Clark said, referring to the policy.
On Tuesday morning, prior to this publication, the dress code policy was removed from the Spencer Middle School website.
Spencer Middle School has received mixed reactions from parents and the public regarding the policy since then, some sharing their disappointment, while others showed support.
A post on a social media group regarding the email has also garnered much attention, receiving hundreds of comments, some supporting and many against the policy.
Since then, the school’s principal, Darren Russell, has responded to the concerns stating that the dress code policy has been changed moving forward, and that the school has been “working on the code of conduct over the last few years” and they had “used the wording we had in place for last year.”
“The code of conduct sent out yesterday is outdated. We have a newly developed one. We’ve never had a “dress code” per say,” Lindsay Vogan, Communications Manager at Sooke School District #62 said in a statement to Victoria Buzz.
“Only rules against wearing something that is openly discriminatory or violent towards others.”
The updated code of conduct sent out this morning is as follows:
- The school expects that students will actively participate through effort and punctual, regular attendance, in their assigned education program.
- Students are expected to respect the rights and property of all Spencer staff and students.
- Students are expected to comply with classroom expectations set by individual teachers in order to ensure that all students’ rights to effective and efficient learning environments are respected.
- Students are expected to wear clothing that is appropriate for an educational environment.
- Students are expected to respect all school and school related events and ensure they are free from use of restricted substances, weapons and of intimidation.
- Students are expected to respect the appropriate use of school computers and internet access.
- Cell phones are to be turned off and stored in locker throughout the day.
- Students are expected to stay on campus throughout the entire day.