Rebecca Lynn Kelly was one of a group of female and male students who were sent home from Menihek High School on Wednesday. School officials said the students had violated the dress code. Chris Ensing/CBC
About 30 students at Menihek High School in Labrador City, N.L., were sent home because of attire deemed to have violated the school's dress code — including wearing sleeveless shirts and having bra straps exposed.
The students — a couple of males and the rest females — were told by school officials that their clothing had violated the dress code. The boys were in sleeveless shirts, and the girls were wearing tanks that could reveal their bra straps.
Emily Connors, one of the students who was sent home, said she didn't plan to be a distraction to anyone — she just wanted to be comfortable during an unseasonably warm day at school..
"This is the first time I've ever been sent home from school," Connors said.
She said the school told girls who were sent home that it was "because of our bra straps, and that it was inappropriate because some of the male teachers, and male students found it distracting for them."
Gary Connors, Emily's father, said his daughter was not the problem, and called the school's reasoning "outrageous."
"I mean, as far as I'm concerned, what a woman wears doesn't give a guy a right to do anything to them, [or] say anything to them. If they can't control themselves, then there's something wrong with them, you know? It's just — it's just pathetic," he told CBC.
'Appropriate learning environment for students'
In a statement issued to CBC News, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District said it was not the school's intent to infringe on the rights of students.
"The latest version of the code was implemented in May 2012 and was approved by the school council and the Labrador School District. A summary of this dress code is available on the school's website and the full version is available from the school, " the statement said.
"In essence, the dress code strives to provide an appropriate learning environment for students. As educators we want our students to dress for the occasion. Every person in the school must feel safe and comfortable and attire does play a role. The issue of student dress must always be approached with a balanced concern for the health, safety and well being of the entire learning community and the rights and privileges of individuals and groups as outlined by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."