A new dress code for the Wood Street Centre school was completed on April 1, according to Minister of Education Jeanie McLean.
“The students, principal, and superintendent worked together to ensure that this new dress code reflects the program goals and upholds the dignity of students and staff,” McLean said during a ministerial statement in the Yukon Legislature on April 11.
“The new dress code shows that Wood Street school administration is listening to student voices and including their perspectives in an updated, inclusive dress code.”
Some students and their families from the Wood Street Centre school in downtown Whitehorse presented a petition and protested against their school’s dress code and how it is being enforced outside the Yukon Legislature on March 7.
McLean said she was “impressed and grateful” to the students and fellow community members for bringing the issue forward.
“We know from other jurisdictions that outdated dress codes can be problematic and cause harm. We know that outdated dress codes have the potential to target certain students,” she said.
“I understand that the school administration and teachers really took the students’ concerns very seriously, and the Department of Education takes them seriously too.”
The new dress code does not appear to be posted to the school’s website.
In response to the ministerial statement, NDP Leader Kate White noted she went in search of dress codes from Yukon schools, and “many schools don’t have them posted publicly, which disempowers students and evades fair criticism.”
“Clearly communicating expectations with students and their caregivers is important,” White said.
McLean said she would make copies of the dress code available to members of the legislative assembly.
— With files from Stephanie Waddell
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org