Canada: Girl's shorts lead to altercation over dress code at Hartland school - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaGirl's shorts lead to altercation over dress code at Hartland school

08:05  15 june  2019
08:05  15 june  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Girl's shorts lead to altercation over dress code at Hartland school © Cassidy Chisholm/CBC News Amanda Liston says her daughter was put in a room by herself for an hour without food, water or her inhaler after she violated the dress code.

The mother of a Hartland Community School student is claiming her daughter was mistreated after school staff told her her clothing violated the dress code.

Amanda Liston said her daughter Mallory Dunlevy, 10, was put in a room alone with the door closed for about an hour without access to water, food, the bathroom, her schoolwork or her inhaler.

Mallory is asthmatic and suffers from anxiety, making her prone to panic attacks.

The Grade 4 student says she felt uncomfortable when she was left alone in the room.

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Girl's shorts lead to altercation over dress code at Hartland school © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

"Nobody was paying attention to me and I just kept saying that I wanted my mom here right now and I would sit there and I'd cry and cry," Mallory said.

Girl's shorts lead to altercation over dress code at Hartland school © CBC News The dress code for the Hartland Community School states shorts should be 'no shorter than fingertip length.'

"And I would just hope that it was her coming through that door because I heard the buzzer, and I was crossing my fingers, and I was just really scared."

Mallory said the vice-principal first told her on Monday that her clothing was inappropriate.

She had opted to wear jean shorts and a long-sleeve shirt to school because it was a warm day.

The school dress code states "skirts and shorts are worn at a length no shorter than fingertip length with arms extended straight down at the sides."

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It goes on to say "the final determination about the appropriateness of student dress lies with the staff of the school."

The vice-principal offered Mallory pants to wear that met the code, but she refused them, saying it was too hot. Mallory said she was then asked by the administrator if she could cut the seams of her shorts so they could roll down further.

Girl's shorts lead to altercation over dress code at Hartland school © CBC News Amanda Liston said she understands her daughter's shorts did not meet the dress code, but she says she's more concerned about how her daughter was allegedly treated.

Mallory said no but alleges the vice-principal tried to roll her shorts down without cutting them.

"I was like, 'What my mom sends me to school with is what I wear, so don't touch me.'"

Liston said she was not notified by the school. It wasn't until her daughter was home from school that she heard about the incident.

Shorts lead to short tempers

But Liston said this isn't a matter of a dress code violation, but how her daughter was allegedly treated.

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"I'm just absolutely baffled, to be perfectly honest, and that's to say the least," Liston said. "Dress code aside, I can't believe that they had the nerve to put her in a room alone and not check on her."

Girl's shorts lead to altercation over dress code at Hartland school © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

On Wednesday, Liston said she got a phone call from Mallory's homeroom teacher: Mallory had been sent to the office for once again violating the dress code.

The offence: jean shorts that did not reach fingertip length, and a T-shirt.

This time, Liston went to the school.

When she arrived, she claims her daughter was being held in a room by herself.

"When I asked why she was put behind a closed door, the vice-principal told me it was because she didn't need the other students in the school seeing Mallory's outfit," Liston said.

Girl's shorts lead to altercation over dress code at Hartland school © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Liston admits she got angry and started using foul language after the vice-principal allegedly turned away from her.

In an email to CBC, Judy Cole, the director of communications for the Anglophone West School District, said "RCMP were called to Hartland Community School after a public disturbance and verbal threats were made against school staff."

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Cpl. Mathieu Gallienne said the RCMP received a call from the school on Wednesday around 3:30 p.m.

"It was a school staff that called us for an unhappy parent at the school in regards to the dress code," he said. "So we showed up, did our investigation and not a police matter, it goes through the school board and the school."

Cole said the district can't discuss specific cases because of privacy concerns but if an incident occurs, the school can "ask an individual to leave the building, call the police if the individual does not comply, or if threats are made and issue a petty trespass order for the individual to stay off school property."

Liston said she's been banned from school property until September.

She said she also contacted Woodstock RCMP to file a negligence charge, but the police said they didn't have enough information for a case.

She's also contacted the school district and the school but she hasn't received a response.

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