For long women’s clothes have been used as an excuse to justify sexual assault against them. Girls’ outfits have been monitored and controlled in schools in place of monitoring boys for their behaviour. Something similar happened to 17-year-old Karis Wilson, a high school student in the Canadian city of Kamloops, British Columbia, last week when she was asked to go back home for wearing an ‘inappropriate’ outfit in school.
Karis had worn a knee-length black dress with lace trim border over a full-sleeved white turtleneck to her school. But somehow her teacher found that the outfit was not in accordance with the school’s outfit and pulled her out of class and escorted her to the principal’s office.
Speaking to CBC’s Radio West, Karis’s father, Christopher Walis said that his daughter was told that her outfit could possibly make the male student teacher feel awkward and it could make her female classroom teacher feel awkward since it could remind her of a lingerie outfit. However, according to Christopher, his daughter’s outfit was actually very modest, when one actually looks at it. Christopher guessed that the initial comments were based on the fact that it had lace.
Christopher also took to social media to share the incident and the picture of the outfit that Karis wore. He captioned the image and wrote that his daughter was centered out in front of her class and told that she needs to leave and took her to the VP’s before she went home in tears. Christopher’s post mentioned that after he asked her how she would like him to handle it she said she wanted to make sure this kind of thing does not happen to the students that come after her.
According to CBC, Christopher also said that he and his family saw the aftermath of her coming home in tears and just really broken up and confused. He said the more he thinks of the incident where a female student was singled out because what she was wearing had the probability of making someone in a position of power over her feel uncomfortable, the more he feels the absurdity of it.
Student walkout underway at NorKam Secondary in #Kamloops over student sent home yesterday for her outfit. Karis Wilson and her father both there – as is our @ColtonDavies_ pic.twitter.com/8irGlJPei0— Brett Mineer (@MineerBrett) February 24, 2021
A highschool student in Kamloops was sent home for a dress code violation.Her black dress over a white turtleneck apparently made a teacher and male student teacher uncomfortable. We are hearing from Karis Wilson and her father who say the move has left them hurt and confused. pic.twitter.com/MwyO3DM51d— Amanda Wawryk (@AmandaWawryk) February 24, 2021
Karis’s incident sparked severe criticism against the school staff. On February 24, 2021, Karis’s classmates walked out of their class in her support.