Kamloops school district revamping dress code after furor over student's outfit | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops school district revamping dress code after furor over student's outfit

Karis Wilson was dismissed from Norkam Secondary over this outfit.
Image Credit: Facebook/Chris Wilson

The Kamloops-Thompson school district will be implementing a new dress code in the coming months and it has already revamped the code's language following an incident involving a NorKam Secondary School student that gained international attention.

Student Karis Wilson was sent home from NorKam Secondary because she made a teacher “uncomfortable” with her fashion choice, a dress overtop a white turtleneck. Her fellow classmates supported her with a walkout, Feb. 25.

READ MORE: Kamloops student embroiled in dress code dispute gains national attention

The current clothing policy says students may not wear clothing that promotes illegal drugs, contains pornographic images or that contains symbols that promotes hate towards a person or persons.

The policy also states student clothing may not be "worn in a way that detracts from the teaching/learning process." In the draft policy’s latest update, that has been removed.

The new code also includes direction for staff to address dress code violations.

READ MORE: Dress code for Kamloops schools ready for next step

“Wherever possible, staff shall respond to Student Dress Code violations in a manner that: is discreet, respectful and clearly references the specifics of the dress code concern; does not require the student to wear clothing provided by the school and instead requires the student to wear additional clothing of their own to obscure the violating dress choice; is consultative with the school administration prior to addressing a dress code concern with a student,” according to a memo to the Board of Education from superintendent Terrence Sullivan.

A review of School District 27’s dress code had already been initiated in December 2020.

Feedback will continue to be collected from various parent, teacher, student, Aboriginal and principal groups as well as the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre.

The first meeting with stakeholders was held today, April 14. 

Stakeholders will reconvene on May 14 to review feedback and provide further input, the memo said.

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