The totally sovereign country of Canada is all atwitter after several schools sent students home or publicly chastised them because they were wearing clothing that did not adhere to official school dress codes.
One case occurred in late May in a Labrador City school amid the generally frozen tundra of Labrador. Officials at Menihek High School sent at least 20 female students home for wearing dresses deemed too short and shoulder-baring tops, reports the National Post.
The newly-tweaked dress code prohibits short dresses and clothes that don’t cover shoulders or which show “the crease of the breast.”
“I was in class for maybe 10 minutes, and when I got out of my desk the teacher looked at me and told me — in front of all the students — that I should go to the office,” 11th grader Maddie Pynn told the Toronto-based newspaper.
The reason for Pynn’s office visit was that her dress wasn’t long enough — though she was wearing a pair of shorts underneath.
Pynn went home and changed into a longer dress. Then, however, she got sent home again because school officials thought the stench of her perfume was too strong.
Students blamed the heat for their style choices. The temperature in Labrador City had climbed to a steamy, searing 75 degrees.
“They didn’t dress that way to go against the dress code,” 12th grader Danielle Matias told the Post. “It was more because it was really, really warm out.”
Another teen girl, 11th-grader Lindsey Stocker, has made international headlines because she refused to change out of a pair of jorts on an unseasonably hot 75-degree day.
Stocker attends Beaconsfield High School in the suburbs of Montreal, where the dress code bans “short shorts,” “halter tops/tube tops/bikini tops,” “excessive cleavage” and any headgear that isn’t for religious purposes, explains The Montreal Gazette.
Beaconsfield High officials did a dress-code check around school, asking students to stand with their arms to their sides. Stocker was singled out for her denim attire.
“In front of all my peers and my teacher they said I had to change,” she told The Gazette. “And when I said no, they said I was making a bad choice. They kept shaking their heads. In front of everybody.”
Stocker then left her classroom and proceeded to make 20 posters declaring that she and all girls should not be punished for breaking school dress codes.
“Don’t humiliate her because she is wearing shorts,” Stocker’s posters speaking for females everywhere read. “It’s hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects.”
The teen hung the posters around school. They were removed within minutes. However, notes The Gazette, images of the posters have now been tweeted thousands of times.
Still another Canadian fashion flap occurred in May in Ottawa when Tallie Doyle, 14, rebelled against a rule against visible bra straps. Doyle’s mother, Andrea Stokes, was a co-conspirator.
“It’s a rule I was willing to break,” Stokes said, according to the Post. “There’s nothing about it that is offensive. I don’t want my daughter to feel shamed for the fact that her bra strap shows.”
Also last month, a 13-year-old girl in Nova Scotia was sent home for wearing shorts that school officials deemed to be too short.