Dress code tensions at Midland school
Published Thursday, October 25, 2018 6:47PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 25, 2018 7:10PM EDT
Many schools have dress codes, but some comments made on Monday during a routine dress code check by the principal at St. Theresa's Catholic high school in Midland upset some students and parents.
A cell phone video of the incident was posted online by one of the students, in it you can hear the male principal saying, “it’s like the #metoo movement. You’re putting every male in this building in an awkward situation.” Some of the students say he also said,” Legs are pretty.”
These comments left many of the Grade 12 female students saying they feel uncomfortable with their bodies.
Hannah Arbour says she was stunned when St. Theresa’s principal Bern Tate and vice-principal Megan Clarke asked the girls to stand up in class so they could inspect the length of their kilts in front of their peers.
“I was really caught off guard,” says Arbour, “because I didn’t expect that to ever happen.”
Parents were left asking what kind of message the principal is sending to their daughters.
“Talk about the skirts, tell them what to wear, but do not mention #metoo in that same context,” said mom Kim Mason. “They’re really implying that these girls are asking for it by showing their legs.”
The principal and vice principal, accompanied by the superintendent of education, returned to the classroom to apologize two days after the incident.
“Mr. Tate has said it was a poor choice of words, and it never should have happened, and I would concur with that,” said Brian Beal, Director of Education with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board. “We would never want to devalue any of our boys or any of our girls.”
The school board tells CTV News that in the months to come they will speak with principals throughout the county and review whether changes to uniform policy are needed.