Montreal

Heritage Regional students don short shorts in dress-code protest

A group of female students at Heritage Regional High School in Saint-Hubert decided to wear short shorts to school today, defying their dress code which they say unfairly targets them.

Students say the school's dress code 'sexualizes' them

Grade 9 student Maya Bateman-Rizkallah says she was inspired to defy the dress code after another student put up posters complaining about it. (CBC)

A group of female students at Heritage Regional High School in Saint-Hubert decided to wear short shorts to school today, defying their dress code which they say unfairly targets them.

We are a new generation. We have new ideas and new ways of thinking.- Grade 9 student Maya Bateman-Rizkallah

The school's dress code stipulates that shorts and skirts "must be no more than 10 centimetres above the knee."

Leggings and tights aren't allowed to be worn alone, and tank tops with thin shoulder straps or crop tops are also not allowed.

Grade 9 student Maya Bateman-Rizkallah decided to wear short black shorts to school today after another student put posters up around the school, speaking out against the dress code.
These students decided to wear shorts that went above the 10-centimetres-above-the-knee rule. (CBC)

"You can't tell girls that 'boys will be boys' because that's not a valid excuse. I know a bunch of guys who don't care if they see my shoulders," Bateman-Rizkallah said.

"They aren't going to be distracted [from] their work. I think it's more of an older mentality that they have been keeping here for no reason," she said.

"We are a new generation. We have new ideas and new ways of thinking."

Sydney Brace wore the school's gym shorts to class, hiking them above the mandated 10 centimetres.

"We're young girls. We're impressionable. We're not meant to be sexualized," she said.

School says students have say

School principal Kim Barnes would not agree to be interviewed by CBC but did provide background information on the dress code.

She says all students have a say in what the dress code entails.

In a letter sent to parents, Barnes warns that students who violate the dress code will face consequences.

"Parents and students are permitted to ask for a review of the dress code through the governing board and student council respectively," she said in that statement.

"This has been done and has led to changes in the past that have either relaxed or strengthened a policy."

Barnes said a student who breaks the dress code is told to change. If it happens again, the student could be sent home to change.

About the Author

Sarah Leavitt

Journalist

Sarah Leavitt is a journalist with CBC Montreal.