W.P. Sandin student raises concerns over dress code

By Bryan Eneas
June 20, 2018 - 5:15pm Updated: June 20, 2018 - 9:04pm

Students at a Shellbrook school are expressing concerns about a meeting at the school on the topic of the dress code.

Darla Bruneau, a Grade 10 student at W.P Sandin Public High School, said she and her female peers were pulled into a meeting with school staff to discuss the dress code June 18. She said staff members told the girls they had been receiving complaints regarding their clothing choices.

Bruneau said many of the girls are dressing for the weather in tank-tops and shorts, and now they feel they have been targeted based on their gender.

“I kinda felt like I was unaccepted as a female … and that I shouldn’t feel confident in what’s on my own skin,” Bruneau told paNOW. “I felt out of place, like I should have been born as a guy, not a girl, and this would be better for me.”

After the meeting, she said the teachers informed her they were not intending to body-shame students but were concerned about how the girls were “putting themselves out there.”

Bruneau said the school’s dress code is, for the most part, fair.

The school abides by a 'four Bs' policy, which requires students cover their breasts, buttocks, bellies, and bra straps. However, Bruneau said she's noticed her male counterparts seem to be treated in a more lax manner when it comes to dress code violations. She said boys have been known to remove their shirts in school, and many boys walk around with their boxer shorts visible without any comment from teachers.

“If your boobs and butt are literally hanging out, then yeah, you don’t need to dress like that,” Bruneau said. “If your bra straps are showing, it’s not really a big deal.” 

When she asked staff at the school if boys were going to be a part of a similar meeting to address their dress code, Bruneau said teachers told the group boys would also be addressed about their clothes.

Bruneau said some of her peers came together to write a letter to the school’s principal about the meeting, which was submitted June 19. She said she wasn’t sure whether the school would respond to their concerns, and noted teachers seemed to blow off student questions about the dress code at the June 18 meeting.

Ultimately, the student said she wanted to see a fair dress code policy implemented at the school, which is enforced equally among both male and female students at W.P. Sandin.

paNOW contacted the Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division for comment about the meeting and the concerns raised by Bruneau, but received none before deadline.


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