A group of over a dozen students who participated in a walkout protesting the dress code at Fredericton High School have been suspended.
The Nov. 21 walkout, which was arranged by Fredericton Youth Feminists, moved inside the school after the last bell rang, and ended at the administrative offices, where seven police officers told the protesters to leave, or be arrested for a charge of trespassing.
“The students are not being suspended for their peaceful protest nor for leaving their classes however those that participated in the demonstration outside of the administration area will have some consequences for these behaviors in line with Policy 703,” said F.H.S. Principal Shane Thomas.
Policy 703 addresses behavior for a “Positive Learning and Working Environment” inside New Brunswick schools. It applies to all participants in the public school system who are on school property, or other instances that could have an impact on the school climate.
About 40 students who walked out of their last class at F.H.S. two weeks ago to protest how the dress code targets female students and fosters victim blaming in instances of sexual assault.
Sorcha Beirne, the founder of Fredericton Youth Feminists, stated via social media that she was given five days of suspension, while other protestors were given three days. Those who participated in the walkout were banned from extracurricular activities for the rest of the year, including prom and sports.
A press release from Fredericton Youth Feminists said, “potential graduates are being threatened with being excluded from prom and graduation ceremonies unless they ‘redeem’ themselves.”
Representatives from Fredericton Youth Feminists did not reply to interview requests before deadline.
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