Saskatchewan

Grade 8 Regina student concerned about school's dress code talk

A Grade 8 student in Regina is raising concerns about how rules about a dress code were communicated to girls in her school.

Girls told about dress code in separate meeting from similar talk with boys

Grade 8 student Hannah Brogden. (CBC)

A Grade 8 student in Regina is raising concerns about how rules about a dress code were communicated to girls in her school.

"All the Grade 8 girls in my school were pulled into a meeting about dress code," Hannah Brogden, who attends W.S. Hawrylak School, said Friday about a meeting earlier in the week. "We were told we were no longer allowed to wear short-shorts, tops with no neck lines — or crop tops — and it was all the girls, and just the girls."

They were also warned about tops with spaghetti straps and told that they should not expose their stomachs or shoulders.

I don't understand why they have to be separated.- Hannah Brogden

Brogden said it wasn't right that girls had to spend time in such a meeting while boys were able to continue with their studies. She said she felt school authorities were targeting girls.

"It seemed very sexist," she said. "They say it has nothing to do with our sexuality or the fact we're girls. And yet they're only talking to the girls, so I can't see why it can't have something to do with the fact we're girls."

One joint meeting should work, Brogden says

Brogden said a day after the girls were spoken to, the boys in her school were also brought together for a meeting.

"They need a meeting with both sexes involved," she said, noting that the boys' meeting was considerably shorter than the one involving the girls. "I don't understand why they have to be separated."

Brogden said she was so angry, after the talk with the girls, that she considered wearing (for the next day at school) clothes that violate the dress code — as a form of protest.

Instead, she said, she took her concerns to the news media.

"I want girls to be able to wear what they want and what they feel comfortable in without being sexualized by everyone around us," she said.

According to an official from the school board, the dress code talks took place during health classes when the girls and boys were already separated by gender.

The official claimed parents had asked that students be reminded about the school's dress code.

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