Students protest over suspension for wearing ripped jeans
Published Tuesday, September 15, 2015 5:21PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, September 15, 2015 5:43PM EDT
Police outside All Saints highschool today.
A pair of ripped jeans was behind a student protest at an Ottawa Catholic high school today.
Several students at All Saints High School in Kanata were suspended for wearing ripped jeans to class.
That prompted one of those suspended students to launch a noon-hour demonstration. Ottawa Police ended up at the school, escorting one of the students into a squad car.
It was an act of defiance that students say prompted staff at All Saints High school to call in police.
As students chanted “Dustin, Dustin,” Grade 12 student Dustin draped his ripped jeans over the basketball hoop in the school cafeteria. Hawley had shown up to school this morning wearing a pair of jeans he had cut holes in, to protest a new dress code forbidding students from wearing ripped jeans and sweat pants. Dustin mounted a noon-hour demonstration.
‘He started a rally,’ says student John Maika, ‘a chant in protest over the new dress code.’
Within minutes, four police cars screeched to a halt in front of the school. Inside, Dustin was approached by police and, with the entire student body following, he was escorted out of the school and put in the back of a squad car.
‘Three kids got suspended today for wearing ripped jeans, including Dustin,’ says fellow grade 12 student Johnny Telo.
Students say a new principal at the school has implemented the new rule, prohibiting students from wearing ripped jeans.
Grade 11 student Madi Carty was one of those suspended. She's been sent home for two days. Carty says the suspension is tough, especially with all her university level classes. Carty, who hopes to pursue a career in pediatric medicine, fears falling behind in her studies.
‘They justify it by saying you wouldn't go to a job interview like this and I wouldn't,’ she says, ‘I'm just going to school. School is different than going to job so I feel it's a strange rule that they are putting what we wear on a higher pedestal than our education.’
School staff wouldn't comment today. In a statement, the Ottawa Carleton Catholic School Board said principals may adjust the dress code each year as trends in clothing come and go.
‘The dress code at All Saints is essentially the same as other Board highschools and consistent with Board policy."
‘Exposing knee caps, what’s wrong with showing knee caps?’ sais student Dylan Webb outside the school.
Students say as long as their clothing is respectable and not sexually explicit, what is wrong with a few rips?
‘Why shouldn’t we be comfortable at school?’ says student Katrina Maxwell.
‘This is one of the only times we can wear what we want when we want, within reason,’ says Grade 12 student John Maika, ‘so we want to be able to do that and that’s the main issue.’
The student in the middle of all this declined an interview but said over the phone that something needs to be done about the dress code because students are not going to stop wearing ripped jeans to school.