Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

From an SD33 Alumna

I have little to say regarding the specifics of Trustee Heather Maahs’ comments about dress standards for girls in SD33. However, I would like to offer my own experiences as a female student in her school district with regard to dress codes, sexual harassment, and ‘distractions’.

I am lucky to have come from a family of strong Christian believers who raised me to value modesty. As a result, I have never had trouble adhering to dress codes – in fact, I preferred to cover up, especially while I attended middle school.

However, my modesty did not protect me from being catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates, beginning at the age of 13. I did everything right, and tried hard to ensure that no one ‘got the wrong idea’ about me. My male classmates would undo my bra straps, try to pull down my shirt, or put their hands down my pants, and the only recourse was to tell a teacher after the fact – never once did a complaint result in discipline for my classmate. As a Christian girl who believed in modesty, I became accustomed to minor sexual assaults by age 15. My modesty did not protect me.

If we are having a conversation about distraction in the classroom, we need to have a serious conversation about the psychological impact of this sort of harassment on female children. Furthermore, if my clothing could not protect me from my classmates, how could it have protected me from teachers who get ‘distracted’ by their students’ bodies?

I would like to finish this letter by thanking my teacher at Sardis who helped me to stand up after one such case of sexual harassment.

Kierra Enns

RELATED STORY: Trustee admits to losing her ‘cool’ during Chilliwack dress code discussion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey’s newest task force aims to find ‘innovative’ ways to bring in revenue

McCallum says city’s revenue sources shouldn’t ‘completely rely on the taxpayer all the time’

Calling a snow day – or not – is a big decision for Surrey public schools

There’s much to consider before cancelling classes for 73,948 Surrey students

White Rock RCMP tells public to yield to pedestrians at marked crosswalks

Police force received a number of complaints about crosswalk safety

No Surrey Knights or White Rock Whalers on league all-star team

PJHL squad will battle Vancouver Island league standouts in Delta on Jan. 26

White Rock BNSF train whistles to be silenced by end of month

Whistle will sound if people or animals are on the track

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

10 B.C. cities break temperature records in winter storm

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Vancouver Island child struck, pinned under SUV while sledding

Boy suffers serious injuries, no charges laid in incident

VIDEO: Lower Mainland principal makes ‘Moana’-themed snow day music video

Kendra Simonetto parodied “How Far I’ll Go” to share weather updates with her students

Unprepared for chemistry test, B.C. student begs superintendent to call another snow day

The student from West Vancouver promised he would study more, but was distracted by skiing and hot chocolate

Over 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

In 2019, 63,830 claims were filed, up from 55,040 in 2018

Most Read