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HWDSB shares updated guidelines on student dress code after student protests




The Hamilton Public School Board unveiled dress code guidelines just a day after administrators voted to remove “sexist and outdated” standards in how it applies what students wear.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) said in a message to families on Tuesday that it has never had a formal dress code and is now making sure it will establish one at all levels.

It comes after Waterdown District High School came under fire for posting an announcement to students on October 7 about appropriate clothing, as police investigated numerous reports of sexual violence and harassment at the school. This led to an apology from the school principal and protests from the students.

“In the absence of guidance from the system, schools may have enforced an outdated dress code in a disproportionate manner that targets identified female students regardless of non-binary opinions and identities,” the post read. from HWDSB to families.

“This is a violation of the Human Rights Code.

What can students wear?

For now, the guidelines tell students:

  • Will wear an upper and lower layer of clothing made of opaque material.

  • May wear tops that expose arms, shoulders, stomach, stomach, neck, chest, and straps, but will cover nipples.

  • May wear stockings that expose legs, thighs and hips and expose suspenders and belts, but will cover groin and buttocks.

  • May wear headgear or headwear that does not obscure the face including, but not limited to durags, baseball caps, scarves, etc.

  • May wear dress or head covering requirements to support religious / creed accommodations and similar human rights accommodations.

  • Cannot wear underwear as outerwear.

  • Cannot wear anything that promotes or symbolizes drugs, alcohol, illegal activity, hatred or discrimination, profanity, pornography; that incites violence or harassment; or threatens health and safety.

  • May not wear anything that represents or displays hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation or any other protected group .

When staff have to address students who violate the dress code, the board said it needs to avoid reinforcing stereotypes and work with students one-on-one.

They should also treat it as a minor problem and ensure that it does not have a negative impact on the student (like taking them out of class time). The board said staff must also suggest solutions for the student.




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