Volume 94, Issue 80

Wednesday, February 14, 2001


Presidential voting demands answers

Change of fortune for Napster

Online learning focus of new fed committee

Dyer predicts democratic China in 10 years

Students shocked by high hydro bills


Couch potatoes get no respect: study

Students say credit is no good

School dress code could be the norm

His Royal Mintiness

School dress code could be the norm

Sarah Fraley
Gazette Staff

The provincial government has put forth legislation that could give parents more say over aesthetic issues, like dress code policies, in the coming school year.

Prior to the last provincial election, the Tory government proposed the idea that steps needed to be taken in order to restore respect and responsibility in students at Ontario's elementary and secondary schools, said Rob Savage, media spokesperson for the Ministry of Education.

"We introduced a provincial code of conduct last spring that laid out what needs to be done in order to provide a more respectable environment in the schools," Savage said, adding the Ministry felt the creation of a code of conduct would allow parents to vote on issues such as dress codes, with a majority vote giving them power to implement policy.

He said school boards are required to have policy in place before June of this year. It will be up to school councils to work together in preparing the specific details of a new dress code, he added.

"Once the policies are ready to be implemented, parents will get to vote before September. Decisions to implement the policies will be made pending the vote," Savage said.

Jamie Currie, minister of finance on the student council of St. Thomas Aquinas' Secondary School in London, said despite the belief that school uniforms will help curb violence and segregation, the implementation of uniforms this year has not made him feel any safer. "Most people adjust the uniform to fit their own style, which makes it difficult to eliminate stereotypical groups among the students," he said.

Currie said if the policy had originally been strongly enforced, it would have been more effective.

He added the enforcement of the dress code seemed like another hassle for teachers. "They just don't bother."

Laura Walker, student council secretary for Regina Mundi College Secondary School, said she felt uniforms have reduced the emphasis on groups at her school.

She said people do not know how an individual dresses outside of school, because it is not as easy to make judgments based on personal clothing preferences. Walker also said she feels safer at her school since uniforms have become mandatory.

Sam Galati, spokesperson for the Thames Valley District School Board, said there are standards in regards to dress code which are already in place.

He said he has not had any uniform concerns brought to his attention from the school community, or any suggestions of a stricter dress code.

Galati said if the school community was ever in favour of a stricter dress code, it should require a group decision made by the whole community – students, teachers and parents.

Galati said he was particularly concerned about high school students having a voice on any potential dress codes, because of the importance clothing, expression and identity can have for many of them.

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