The teen's frustrated father said he was disheartened by his daughter having to go through such an experience in 2021.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 3, 2021. It has since been updated.
A 17-year-old high school senior was sent home last week after being told her outfit — a full-sleeved white turtleneck over a knee-length black dress with lace trim — could make teachers feel "awkward." The teen's father, Christopher Wilson, revealed in a now-viral Facebook live that his daughter Karis was pulled out of class last Tuesday at NorKam Senior Secondary school in Kamloops, British Columbia, and escorted to the principal's office before "she went home in tears." In the video, which has been viewed over 77k times, Wilson said he was disheartened by his daughter having to go through such an experience in 2021.
"Today my daughter was sent home for wearing clothing that made her female teacher and her male student-teacher 'feel uncomfortable,'" Wilson wrote on Facebook, reports Daily Mail. "Centered out in front of her class and told she needs to leave class and brought her to the VP’s before she went home in tears. After asking her how she would like me to handle it she said she wanted to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen to the students that come after her. Please stand with Karis and [me] and make sure that those involved are held accountable and that this never happens again."
It's _2021_ and we're STILL seeing girls being sent home for wearing distracting clothing.— CadburyBunny ESC (Emotional Support Canuck) (@cadburybunny) February 25, 2021
And the Distracting Clothing is ...
A TURTLENECK under a KNEE LENGTH DRESS!?!?
B.C. teen sent home from school over 'distracting' clothing https://t.co/CkDMEtkPeU via @YouTube
Wilson also posted a photo of the outfit Karis wore to school and said that while he is used to hearing about similar incidents occurring in the United States, he never imagined it could happen to his daughter. "I'm frustrated, I'm hurt, I'm disappointed in the system," he said in the video. "I'm pretty upset at this happening in 2021." The frustrated father revealed that when he confronted the principal and vice-principal about the matter, showing them a photo of his daughter's outfit, the vice principal 'quietly' conceded that it did not make her uncomfortable.
"If you're a teacher and you're distracted by clothing your students are wearing, then you are in the wrong profession," Wilson said on the Facebook live. "Maybe you should try something new." Speaking to CBC's Radio West about the incident, he explained what exactly went down in his daughter's class that day. "[Karis] was told that it could possibly make the male student teacher feel awkward and it could make [her female classroom teacher] feel awkward since it reminded her of a lingerie outfit," he said. "It's actually a very modest outfit when you actually look at it... I think the initial comments were based on the fact that it had lace."
She wore a dress over a turtleneck to school and was sent home because a teacher called it inappropriate. The B.C. teen’s father says he’s frustrated by what happened. As @CBCtanya reports, some of her fellow students are showing their support.https://t.co/GgBp3Bh3uw pic.twitter.com/SlM7iNiJKa— CBC British Columbia (@cbcnewsbc) February 26, 2021
Wilson revealed that the "surreal" incident left Karis quite upset. "[We] kind of saw the aftermath of her coming home in tears and just really broken up, confused," he said. "There was a female who was singled out because what she's wearing could make someone in a position of power over her feel uncomfortable. And the more you think of it, the more you say it, the more you understand that this is absurd. It shouldn't happen."
There has been an outpouring of support for the teen since the incident with several women and girls posting images of themselves in similar outfits on social media. Karis's classmates also staged a walkout in solidarity on Wednesday, holding signs that read: "I am not my dress" and "My education is more important than what I wear" and "Am I distracting you with my midriff?" According to Wilson, the vice-principal and principal have handled the situation well and the school district superintendent also reached out to the family. "If there's a silver lining to this, [after feeling] that centered out and awkward, [it's to] have everyone stand up, stand beside you and say, no, this isn't OK, we're with you," he said. "We could definitely learn some lessons from it. I know for a fact that they're taking this very seriously and it might be an opportunity to promote learning for the teachers as well."