Outremont high schoolers launch petition for the right to go braless

Students at an all-girls private school in Outremont have launched a petition, demanding more freedom in choice of dress.

The text of the petition claims students at the Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie were incensed when a student was sent home from school last week for showing up without a bra under her shirt.

More than 1,600 people have signed the petition since it went online last week.

"The reason for this is because there were male teachers there, and that could have caused them to be ill at ease," the text of the petition reads. "It's important to underline the fact that she was indeed wearing a shirt and that everything was covered.

"It's sad to see a school, which claims to promote the consciousness of social inequalities and feminism, to act in this way. Since Secondary One, we've been told that we will learn how to be citizens of the world and that being a woman will not limit us, but how do these conservative approaches convey such ideas?"

There is no formal rule at the school requiring girls to wear certain undergarments, but in a letter sent to parents, the school's director suggested the staff has the right to intervene when an outfit is judged "indecent".

Protests over dress codes have taken place at several high schools across the province, including "yellow-square" protests that have struck at about a dozen Quebec schools earlier this spring. A Facebook page, called Les Carrés Jaunes, has attracted more than 1,500 followers, and says it "hopes to modify sexist dress codes" in schools.