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Canada Students protesting boy's suspension from high school for wearing makeup

19:05  25 november  2019
19:05  25 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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A group of students at a high school in Montreal's Plateau neighbourhood arrived at school wearing heavy makeup, protesting against the suspension of a fellow student after he wore makeup last week.

Staff at Robert Gravel High School, a high school that specializes in theatre, will not allow them to attend class until their makeup is removed.

The boy is being taught from a local YMCA rather than taking classes at his own high school.

The school does not explicitly address makeup in its code of conduct, but the principal says boys and girls are allowed to wear "light" makeup, and that excessive makeup was one of several behavioural issues with the boy in question.

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But his fellow students are not happy.

"We're protesting for his right, but the right of everybody. I think it's more than just wearing makeup," said Simone Laforme, a secondary five student.

"If an authority tells you what you are — because that's who he is — is fundamentally wrong, I don't think it's good for his development."

Friends of the boy say he is known for expressing himself through makeup.

"He likes to wear makeup. It is a form of art for him," said student Léo Nault.

Tim Rideout, a parent of a student at the school, said when the boy was told to wash his face, he pointed out that the school's code of conduct did not have any guidelines on wearing makeup.

"The administration allegedly responded 'not all rules can be written down,'" Rideout said.

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a man and a woman standing in front of a window: Students Léo Nault and Simone Laforme were among those who arrived at the high school Robert Gravel on Monday wearing heavy face makeup in solidarity with a boy who was suspended last week. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Students Léo Nault and Simone Laforme were among those who arrived at the high school Robert Gravel on Monday wearing heavy face makeup in solidarity with a boy who was suspended last week.

Other issues at play

The school's principal, Mathieu Lachance, said school staff made the decision to remove the boy from classes because of a variety of behavioural issues, including the makeup.

Lachance said he is receiving vocational training at the YMCA.

He justified the decision to remove him from school because his makeup was an "eccentric" behaviour — and the code of conduct does not allow eccentric behaviours.

He was asked to remove the makeup and refused.

"Our job is to create limits, and then make sure those limits are respected," said Lachance.

He said both girls and boys are allowed to wear "light" makeup, but this boy's makeup was excessive.

"We're not at a masquerade."

He said the protesting students will not be allowed to attend classes until they remove their makeup. 

Public high schools in Ontario closed today as teachers hold one-day strike .
TORONTO — Hundreds of thousands of high school students will be out of class Wednesday as their teachers hold a one-day strike to protest the lack of progress in contract talks between their union and Premier Doug Ford's government. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, which represents about 60,000 public high school teachers and support workers, said the government had not put forward any constructive proposals during theThe Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, which represents about 60,000 public high school teachers and support workers, said the government had not put forward any constructive proposals during the negotiation process.

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