Kamloops high school students walk out of class in support of classmate sent home for 'inappropriate' dress

Students protest dress flap

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

A Kamloops high school is once again in the spotlight for the wrong reason, but this time it has nothing to do with COVID-19.

Students at NorKam secondary walked out of class on Wednesday afternoon, protesting the alleged discrimination of a classmate a day earlier who was sent home because of the outfit she was wearing.

Karis Wilson, a 17-year-old student at the school, told Castanet Kamloops she was pulled out of class Tuesday and told to change her outfit because it was "too distracting.”

The topic went viral on social media Tuesday and, by Wednesday morning, students had planned a walk-out.

"We think it's right to advocate for other girls that this happens too," said Avery, a student at NorKam.

About 50 students were showing their support to Wilson and other girls at the school who have accused the teaching staff of similar behaviour.

In response to the online outrage, SD73 sent out the following statement:

"School District 73 is aware of the incident regarding a grade 12 student and dress code at NorKam secondary on Feb. 23, 2021. We understand the parent is concerned about what happened to his daughter at school yesterday. We are also concerned about these allegations and are treating them seriously. The incident is currently under review. We will not comment on the incident specifically. Whenever a parent is concerned about their child at school we want to work with them for the best outcome for the student."

Wilson told Castanet some NorKam teachers have expressed support for her situation.

ORIGINAL: 2:45 p.m.

Students at a Kamloops high school walked out of class on Wednesday, a day after their classmate was sent home after being told her outfit was “distracting.”

The walkout at NorKam secondary took place at 2 p.m. About 50 students, many holding signs, streamed out of the school to protest the treatment of their classmate Karis Wilson, who was sent home on Tuesday after being told her clothes were inappropriate for school.

“I am speechless,” Wilson told Castanet Kamloops.

“It overwhelms me to see how many amazing women are here supporting me.”

Wilson said she was blown away by the viral response to her situation.

“I think it’s absolutely crazy,” the 17-year-old Grade 12 student said.

“I knew it was wrong when it happened, right away, but I didn’t think it would be like this.”

On Tuesday, Wilson was sent home after being told her outfit — a black dress on top of a white turtle neck — was “distracting” her female teacher and male teaching assistant. Her dad, Chris Wilson, took to TikTok to complain about the situation and his post went viral, receiving more than 100,000 likes.

SD73 issued a statement on Wednesday saying it is looking into the situation.

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