A father has vented his fury after his daughter was sent home from school for wearing a high-necked, long-sleeved outfit a teacher said made her feel “uncomfortable”.
Chris Wilson said his 17-year-old daughter Karis went to school “feeling good about herself” in a knee-length black dress worn over a long-sleeved white skivvy.
But in class, a female teacher singled out the year 12 student because of her outfit, saying it made her and the male teacher’s assistant “feel uncomfortable”.
Karis, from British Columbia, Canada, was sent to the principal’s office and then straight home.
Voicing his anger in a Facebook video, Mr Wilson said Karis walked home “in tears” after the humiliating incident.
“I’m pretty upset at this happening in 2021,” the visibly angry dad said.
“I can’t even explain how disappointing it is that in 2021, a teacher (would) centre a student out and say, ‘What you’re wearing is making people feel uncomfortable’, and drag her down to the office.”
Mr Wilson’s video on Facebook has been viewed more than 79,000 times and received more than 700 comments, with many people outraged by how Karis was treated.
Mr Wilson told CBC he thought the issue with the outfit may have been the lace detailing on the dress.
“It’s actually a very modest outfit when you actually look at it,” he said.
“I think the initial comments were based on the fact that it had lace.”
But he described the situation as “absurd”.
“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,” he said.
“And the more you think of it, the more you say it, the more you understand that this is absurd. It shouldn’t happen.”
Mr Wilson said when he spoke to the vice principal about the incident, he was told the teacher who complained about Karis’ outfit was “a little bit old school” — but the school’s dress code stated outfits should not “distract from teaching or learning”.
The incident has sparked anger among Karis’ classmates at Norkam Senior Secondary School, who staged a walkout in protest about how she was treated.
The students gathered outside the school with posters reading “My education is more important than what I wear” and “Am I distracting you with my midriff?”
Meanwhile online, people are posting photos of their outfits and messages of support with the hashtag #imwithkaris in solidarity with the year 12 student.
The school did not respond to CBC’s request for a comment.