'Tasteless' poster at LaSalle high school taken down following concern from parents

A LaSalle mom is expressing concern online over a “tasteless” poster that was in a classroom at her daughter’s school.

The poster has since been taken down. It said: “Dressing inappropriately is like rolling around in manure; sure, you’ll get attention, but mostly from pigs. Remember, no backs, no butts, no boobs, no bellies.”

Tanya Hughes posted a picture of the poster at Sandwich Secondary School in LaSalle on her Facebook page on Tuesday night.

“So I spoke to the school in regards to this tasteless poster in my Daughter’s grade nine math class. They seem to think there is nothing wrong with it, the message and is allowing this…. I think it’s disgusting!!” Hughes wrote.

Her post garnered hundreds of comments and shares online.

Deemed inappropriate

The Greater Essex County District School Board confirmed Wednesday the poster was removed.

“When this poster came to our attention, we deemed it inappropriate and it was taken down,” said GECDSB spokesperson Scott Scantlebury.

He said the board is committed to safe, welcoming and inclusive schools that respect the dignity of all students.

“We are currently reviewing the board regulation for student dress and creating interim guidelines for school staff to ensure the application of appropriate student dress policies do not adversely affect any students,” said Scantlebury.

Further discussion of student dress policies and procedures is anticipated. A motion was proposed at the May 17 meeting of the Board of Trustees to develop a board-wide student dress policy.

Revisiting dress code policy

School board officials say a dress code review hasn’t happened since 2015.

“Anytime we're developing rules that we're expecting students to follow, we really need to be considering them from an equity lens,” said GECDSB trustee Jessica Sartori on Wednesday. “We have a couple of really excellent models out there provincially right now that can help us develop and updated policy.”

Sartori told CTV News a review request was made Tuesday in light of recent events surrounding student dress codes in Ottawa and that the GECDSB has been undertaking a significant review of equity practices across the board.

“We always know that there is room for improvement. We're on that path. And I think that things like the dress code that can have an important impact on students daily lives is one of those things that should be included in that process,” she said.

Sartori suggests the policy implemented by the Toronto District School Board in 2019 is a good basis for new policy, if the review motion is passed in June.

“One of the things that that I would like to see during the development of this policy is not necessarily that we just sort of asked to borrow Toronto District School Board's,” Sartori explained. “But that there is engagement with stakeholders across the board and in different communities to assist with that process.”

Meanwhile, Hughes is pleased that the sign has been removed, but remains adamant that continued conversation is necessary.

“I think parents within that school or any school should talk to their children about it,” she said. “Maybe this is something that will affect people within their homes and they can have conversation with their young teens and say, be comfortable with your body. Or with young boys, it's okay that you have attraction but you can't act on it.”

Hughes added, “I'm hoping that with the school board, something more positive will come about and make positive changes and we need to kind of change with the times. It's 2022. Women fought for these rights for us to be equal and it's just kind of taking a step back a little bit.”

- With files from CTV News Windsor's Chris Campbell