Tallie Doyle takes on the Ottawa Carleton District School Board’s dress code

My daughter has the same dress code at her school. It's galling. Supposedly done to keep 'the boys' from getting distracted and to help them improve their marks. And for girls to avoid unwanted attention. Tallie's sin was to wear a tank top with visible bra straps. She got a reprimand. And now she's hopping mad.

My daughter has the same dress code at her school. It’s galling. Supposedly done to keep ‘the boys’ from getting distracted and to help them improve their marks. And for girls to avoid unwanted attention. Tallie’s sin was to wear a tank top with visible bra straps. She got a reprimand. And now she’s hopping mad.

As she should be. As I am.

Since when is it her fault if she’s got junior douchebags for classmates? Identifying what she wears as ‘the problem’ is just another way of blaming and shaming women and girls. And I don’t buy the reasonable restrictions argument either – the “it’s only bare midriffs and short shorts we’re talking about” arguments.

Because people who want to blame girls for the boys’ bad behaviour will always find something. That dress. A knowing gaze. Being in that place alone. Suggestive body language. Consumption of oxygen.

Since when are students not responsible for their own behaviour? Isn’t that one of the life lessons parents and schools are supposed to impart? As in: if you’re distracted, not paying attention, dear son of mine, or for that matter forever getting hauled into the principal’s office to talk about your harassing behaviour, your career path may not take quite the turn you hope.

We are supposed to be teaching that to our boy children, are we not?

At age eight, my daughter is probably of the age where she’s flying below the dress code radar. Though she knows the code. It’s my sincere hope that the board will come to its senses and rescind the dress code before Mallory has to live by it.