Edmonton public school trustees unanimously support inclusive dress-code guideline

Edmonton public school trustees voted unanimously Tuesday evening to support an inclusive guideline for dress codes as schools update their codes of conduct.

'Just to make sure we're really inclusive and welcoming to all students'

Edmonton Public Schools trustee Bridget Stirling tabled a motion Tuesday to create a guideline to promote inclusive dress codes. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Edmonton public school trustees voted unanimously Tuesday evening to support an inclusive guideline for dress codes as schools update their codes of conduct.

Trustee Bridget Stirling tabled the motion which recommends enforcement of dress codes not target students based on race, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, socioeconomic status or body type and size.

"Just to make sure we're really inclusive and welcoming to all students," Stirling said. "And that our dress codes foster positive self-esteem and sense of belonging."

Stirling said she has heard from parents who say dress codes aren't being enforced equally, or that the language in the dress code targets genders.

"This is a question that comes up from parents every year, and it's certainly a concern I often get contacted about."

Stirling said she's hopeful the proposed guidelines help avoid dress codes that seem unfair to some students.

"Sometimes you'll hear of a dress code that might dictate the length of a skirt but might not talk about length of shorts for boys."

It comes at a time when Edmonton Public Schools is updating its code of conduct, which would include a dress code.

The motion was unanimously passed at a school board meeting Tuesday afternoon.