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UPDATE: Students walk out in protest of dress code blitz at Orléans high school Béatrice Desloges

The dress code blitz, which took place on Thursday, May 12, involved several teachers and staff members at the French catholic school measuring the length of students' shorts.
Photo/ Facebook

Some students at an Orléans high school walked out in protest after teachers and staff held a dress code crackdown. 

The dress code blitz, which took place on Thursday, May 12, involved several teachers and staff members, mostly male, at École Secondaire Catholique Béatrice-Desloges to measure the length of students' shorts. The 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. 

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, and the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, the board that represents the east end school, said in a statement to CityNews Ottawa that the board is taking the complaints and allegations in connection with the dress code blitz at Béatrice-Desloges very seriously and there are various versions of what happened at the school circulating through the community.

In a Twitter thread, Ottawa police said they were called to the school around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 13 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 add, 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.

The protest was concluded by 1 p.m.

The board said two members of the board went to the school to meet with students and staff to determine what happened, adding the meetings will help lead to new measures aimed at preventing this type of situation from happening again. 

"The board finds it important to address sensitive issues, particularly with regard to issues of equity, origin, gender, orientation, micro-aggression, privilege, bias, discrimination, etc.," the statement, originally in French, reads. "In November 2021, it (the board) also began a process of revising school dress codes in order to update them, make them gender-neutral and non-discriminatory. This collaborative exercise will allow the board and its schools to consider issues and concerns related to the current or recommended dress code. This process involves students, staff members, parents and community organizations. This approach by the board and the schools is also part of a logic of continuous learning and open-mindedness."

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