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A Montreal School Introduced A Gender Neutral Dress Code & It's Caused Quite The Commotion

Students can dress as they like so long as undergarments and private parts are not shown.

Associate Editor
Classroom and desks at Robert-Gravel High School. Right: Students outside of Robert-Gravel High School.

Classroom and desks at Robert-Gravel High School. Right: Students outside of Robert-Gravel High School.

The subject surrounding school dress codes has always been a hot topic and has recently caused quite a stir at a number of Montreal schools.

On May 17, students from École Père-Marquette were up in arms over the school's dress code, which they deemed restrictive.

The conflict arose when various students were removed from their classrooms after a dress code evaluation left many young girls feeling "humiliated." The debacle instantly stirred up controversy amongst the student body and even made its way over to social media.

Since then, more moves have been made when it comes to school dress codes across the city. On May 18, a high school in Montreal's Mile End, École Robert-Gravel, officially moved forward with a gender-neutral dress code.

The high school has said goodbye to its ban on spaghetti strapped shirts — stating that students can now dress as they wish so long as undergarments and private parts are not shown.

École Robert-Gravel's decision to implement this new dress code has left many happy, confused or concerned.

Ronald Jean-Pierre, the school's principal, spoke with La Presse, saying "What you have to understand is that there were teachers who thought exactly like these parents (the mothers of the girls who wanted the code changed). We had to find a way for everything to work and for everyone to agree."

Discussions about getting rid of the dress code at École Robert-Gravel began last year. At that time, Jean-Pierre asked teachers to refrain from intervening if they saw any students wearing clothing deemed "inappropriate."

In previous documents put out by École Robert-Gravel, the dress code stated that "skirts must be extended to mid-thigh (ex: two palms wide above the middle of the knee) provided students are not wearing any see-through tights or leggings underneath. If the skirt is worn without leggings or tights, it must then come to the middle of the knee."

According to the school's principal, there have not been any issues of note since the dress code changed. "We've seen shoulders, spaghetti straps, bra straps, but no problematic situations," Jean-Pierre told La Presse.

It's important to note that the updated dress code for École Robert-Gravel has not yet been posted on the school board's website.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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