As It Happens

NB teen protests school dress code, wears halter dress

It was a warm day in Moncton, New Brunswick on Monday. So Lauren Wiggins decided to wear a halter dress to school that day. She knew she was violating the school's dress code by exposing her shoulders, but she was comfortable, so she wore the dress anyway. For that she received detention.
Lauren Wiggins, 17, of Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton (Facebook)

It was a warm day in Moncton, New Brunswick on Monday. So Lauren Wiggins decided to wear a halter dress to school that day. She knew she was violating the school's dress code by exposing her shoulders, but she was comfortable, so she wore the dress anyway. For that she received detention.

"I wasn't wearing it with the intention to get positive sexual feedback from the male students in my school," says Wiggins. "I was wearing it because it was an outfit I thought looked good on me, and I felt comfortable, so I liked it and I wore it."

Wiggins was so upset by the detention that she wrote a letter to her vice-principal, voicing her frustration. After that she received a two-day in-school suspension.

"I'm tired of the unjust standards that we as women are held up to," she wrote. "I'm tired of the discrimination against our bodies, and I'm absolutely fed up with comments that make us feel like we can't be comfortable without being provocative. It's time to change the world's mind set. Now."

Wiggins doesn't understand why female students should have to limit the clothes they wear just because boys might find the clothing provocative. She says that if boys can't control themselves maybe they should be sent home, to work on self-control.

Wiggins acknowledges there are clothes that are inappropriate for school, but she says her dress doesn't fit that category.

"I have never heard a teenage boy ever make a sexual comment about somebody's shoulders or somebody's back. That is just ridiculous to me and all of my male friends at my school. They agree, they make jokes about it. And I just think it's ridiculous that we should be told to cover up body parts that aren't even sexual."

Wiggins wore the same dress to a job interview.

"I mentioned that I forgot to bring something to cover up because I wasn't sure if that was alright for a job interview. And my manager said not to worry because she thought I looked really pretty and really good. And I still got the job."

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