In response to a dress code crackdown that took place at an Orléans high school on May 12, one Liberal candidate said she "will fight to have this practice stopped."
Staff and teachers, mostly male, at École Secondaire Catholique Béatrice-Desloges conducted a one day dress code blitz where students were told to bend over and touch their toes while staff members measured the length from their knees to the hem of their shorts.
Ottawa-Vanier Liberal candidate Lucille Collard took to twitter to voice her displeasure regarding the incident at the east end high school.
"Dress codes are so outdated and discriminatory," she posted.
Approximately 50-60 students were sent to the office, most of them female. Some students said they felt humiliated by what happened.
On Friday, May 13, students walked out in protest because of what happened one day earlier and in a Twitter thread, Ottawa police said they were called to the school around 11:30 a.m. after receiving information that students were outside the premises protesting.
Officers arrived on scene and helped school personnel. Police said they attempted to de-escalate a situation with one youth who was not a student at the school and was identified as trespassing. That individual, police added, was arrested at the scene for causing a disturbance and trespassing and was escorted off school property.
He was released without charges. No other charges were laid or tickets were issued during the protest.
Cumberland Coun. Catherine Kitts said she's aware of the situation at Béatrice- Desloges.
Aware of today’s incident at Béatrice- Desloges. Asking why Ottawa Police intervention was needed w/o greater deescalation. School action against young women who were aggressively targeted for dress code violations also appears wildly inappropriate. Entire situation concerning.— Catherine Kitts (@catherinekitts) May 13, 2022
Orléans Liberal candidate Stephen Blais said the situation at the school is concerning, adding he spoke to the vice-president of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est "who is committed to a full investigation."
Very concerned about the dress code incident at Béatrice-Desloges. Women should never be judged for what they wear. Spoke with school trustee and vice-chair of the board @danboudria who is committed to a full investigation. #ottnews #ottcity— Stephen Blais (@StephenBlais) May 13, 2022
Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper, a member of the Ottawa Police Services Board, said he has spoken to police regarding the incident.
I have spoken with police to express my disagreement with physically taking control of the youth even if trespassing. I don't immediately see the need to have escalated the situation. To those students who walked out: good on you. Keep calling out misogyny. https://t.co/dK15MTV9Ju— Jeff Leiper (He/Him) (@JLeiper) May 13, 2022
The school board issued a statement regarding the incident, stating it is taking the complaints and allegations in connection with the dress code blitz at Béatrice-Desloges very seriously, saying that two board members went to the school to meet with students and staff to determine what happened and hope the meetings will help lead to new measures aimed at preventing this type of situation from happening again.