A high school senior in Kamloops, British Columbia, was sent home on Tuesday for wearing a black dress and white turtleneck that made her female teacher and teaching assistant “feel uncomfortable.”
Now the daughter and her father are speaking out, sharing their disappointment and stressing the need for change.
“I’m frustrated, I’m hurt, I’m disappointed in the system,” Christopher Wilson, the father, says in a Facebook video. “My beautiful 17-year-old daughter went to school today feeling excited, feeling good about herself, and ready to learn.”
Wilson says that shortly after she sat down in class, the teacher stated that her outfit made or could make her, or the teacher’s assistant, who is male, “feel uncomfortable.”
He also shared a photo of his daughter’s outfit — a black dress over a white long-sleeve turtleneck.
“She was removed from class, brought down to the principal’s office and sent home. So my daughter walks home in tears.”
“I can’t even explain how disappointing it is that in 2021, for a teacher to centre a student out and say what you’re wearing is making people feel uncomfortable and drag her down to the office.”
Wilson says that he spoke about his daughter’s outfit with the school principal and asked if it made her feel uncomfortable, to which she “quietly said no and didn’t feel there was an issue with it.”
He also looked at the dress code, which consisted of four points. Alcohol and tobacco, nudity, and offensive language aren’t allowed. The last point, which was the most disturbing to Wilson, is “not to wear clothing that’s distracting to teaching or learning.”
“That’s in the dress code in a high school in 2021, that you can’t wear clothes that are distracting,” Wilson continues. “How about if you’re a teacher and you’re distracted by clothing that your students are wearing, you’re in the wrong profession.”
The school reportedly told him that his daughter’s teacher was “a little bit old school.”
“These teachers have professional development days. Why aren’t they taught sensitivity? I can think of a lot of things that are a little bit old school that are completely unacceptable.”
Wilson adds that he spoke with his daughter before going public with the incident and asking for support.
His daughter told him that “if we make any change for someone that comes behind me, then it’s worth it.”
Daily Hive has reached out to both Wilson and the high school for additional comment.