The father of a high school student in Kamloops, B.C., who was sent home for wearing what was deemed an inappropriate outfit, says the incident was absurd and should not have happened.
Chris Wilson’s daughter Karis Wilson, 17, was wearing a knee-length black dress with lace trim over a full-sleeved white turtleneck. Chris Wilson said her teacher pulled her out of class Tuesday and escorted her to the principal’s office because of the outfit.
“[Karis] was told that it could possibly make the male student teacher feel awkward and it could make [her female classroom teacher] feel awkward since it reminded her of a lingerie outfit,” Chris Wilson said on CBC’s Radio West.
“It’s actually a very modest outfit when you actually look at it … I think the the initial comments were based on the fact that it had lace.”
Chris Wilson said the incident felt a little “surreal.”
“[We] kind of saw the aftermath of her coming home in tears and just really broken up, confused,” he said. “There was a female who was singled out because what she’s wearing could make someone in a position of power over her feel uncomfortable. And the more you think of it, the more you say it, the more you understand that this is absurd. It shouldn’t happen.”
Chris Wilson took to social media, with his daughter’s permission, and his post on Facebook has been viewed over 40,000 times.
On Wednesday, Karis’ classmates staged a walkout in her support.
“If there’s a silver lining to this, [after feeling] that centred out and awkward, [it’s to] have everyone stand up, stand beside you and say, no, this isn’t OK, we’re with you.”
Chris Wilson says the vice-principal and principal have handled the situation well, and the school district superintendent has reached out.
“We could definitely learn some lessons from it,” he said. “I know for a fact that they’re taking this very seriously and it might be an opportunity to promote learning for the teachers as well.”
The school district told CBC News that it is aware of the situation, but has no comment on the event itself. The school has not responded to requests for comment.