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Car care class is just for girls at Westsyde Secondary

Westsyde Secondary is offering a new Girl’s Car Care program next year.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
May 14, 2015 - 11:53 AM


KAMLOOPS – Due to the success of a similar course offered at South Kamloops Secondary, the administration at Westsyde Secondary have decided to offer a girls-only car care class.

At first glance, one might ask why the girls and boys have been segregated from each other, but Westsyde principal Sean Lamoreaux points out both genders have the opportunity to take auto mechanics.

“It’s an avenue for the female population interested in mechanics and shop class,” says Lamoreaux, adding girls may be intimidated  often the boys are at a higher skill level.

Shop teacher Matt Marra admits the boys can be less than accepting of their female counter parts.

“Sometimes the boys who take auto… sometimes there’s tension between the two (groups of students)," he says.

He says the girls will be learning the same material as any other shop class, the only difference being the class will be made up of all girls.

When asked whether the description of the class on the school's website, which uses the words “powder puff” and the phrase “show the boys how it’s done,” was sexist, Lamoreaux says it was tongue-in-cheek, but he was't certain where the description originated.

Lamoreaux and Marra, both agree the class was never meant to be insulting. Marra agreed to teach the class based on the interest from female students at the school.

“We’re encouraging people to feel comfortable in the shop,” Marra says. The last thing he says he would want is for anyone, male or female, to feel excluded.

Lamoreaux says the school tries to accommodate as many interests, tastes and lifestyles as possible. He says if students approached him about a vegan cooking class, he would consider offering it.

He says because the class is new for the next school year he doesn't know what kind of enrollment it will have. The students will decide the fate of the class by how many sign up for it.

“Kids vote with their feet.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

Course description for Girl's Car Care course.
Course description for Girl's Car Care course.
Image Credit: Westsyde Secondary School

Course description for introductory auto mechanics course.
Course description for introductory auto mechanics course.
Image Credit: Westsyde Secondary School

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