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Chilliwack school trustees stand by controversial dress code comments

Last Updated Mar 16, 2019 at 7:47 pm PDT

Trustee Heather Maahs addresses colleagues at a Chilliwack school board meeting on March 12, 2019. (Source: YouTube/Chilliwack School District)
Summary

Trustee Heather Maahs says girls dressing the way they want is a distraction in the classroom

Her comments align with those of fellow trustee Darrell Furgason

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – More strong comments came Saturday from a Chilliwack school trustee defending the district’s dress code policy.

After suggesting that allowing girls to dress as they like would create a “free for all” for pimps and sexual predators on Tuesday, trustee Heather Maahs now says it would also be a distraction in the classroom

“You go to school to do a job,” Maahs says, “And in order to do that job, everybody has to not be distracted by any outside circumstances.”

RELATED: ‘Form of harassment for a teacher’: Chilliwack trustee defends school dress code

She goes on to say “outside circumstances” can refer to a girl’s clothing and it is important they learn what distracts others.

“And if outside circumstances mean something that she is wearing that is distracting, then it’s a good lesson and it’s good information for her to understand that maybe she’s a very beautiful girl and her beauty is distracting,” Maahs continues.

Her comments align with those of fellow trustee Darrell Furgason, who said students wearing inappropriate clothing is “a form of harassment for a teacher.”

The motion to ditch the Chilliwack dress code was brought forward at the school board meeting on Tuesday night by trustee Willow Reichelt, who says dress codes unfairly target young women.

Reichelt believes that instead of having to worry about their clothing, young women should be engaged with their studies, and not whether or not men approve of their clothes.

RELATED: ‘Completely wrong’: Parents fire back at Chilliwack trustees following controversial dress code comments

“It’s not up to girls and women to cover their bodies to somehow make life easier for men and boys,” she told NEWS 1130. “It’s up to each individual person to manage their own distractions and manage their own desire.”

The two trustees have faced severe backlash from parents for their comments, and British Columbia Teachers’ Federation President Glen Hansman says the two are putting the responsibility on girls to dress a certain way while ignoring the responsibility of young men to not to commit a crime.