UPDATE: Principal responds to student complaints of dress code enforcement at Lansing Catholic

Michigan
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(UPDATE 2-28-2020 3:20 p.m.)– Leaders at Lansing Catholic High School responded to student complaints on Friday, saying they want everyone in their community to feel safe and welcome.

This comes after a group of female students sent letters to local news outlets asking them to investigate, and stating they felt uncomfortable on campus because of how the dress code is enforced. In that letter, students said they were being harassed and demeaned because of how their uniforms fit their bodies. They also said they are inspected every day by male and female teachers.

“The allegations are serious. We don’t believe they’re accurate,” principal Doug Moore said. “We do believe though, that students have not felt heard and we want to uphold their dignity. So we want to make sure that they’re heard.”

The school also formed a committee of students, staff and parents that will meet next week to talk about how to enforce the policy.

You can read the principal’s full statement below:

“Lansing Catholic High School places the greatest importance on the safety and well-being of our students and has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment within our school community. 

Our School Board met last night to discuss the issues raised in the recent letter issued to local media. The considered opinion of the Board was that any suggestion of sexual harassment levelled against our teaching staff is both inaccurate and unfair. However, there was also sympathy and support expressed for any students who feels they are being disrespected in how our long-established and widely supported uniform policy is being upheld by.

The School Board have therefore decided to create a small committee of staff, parents and students to work on the issue of how our uniform policy is applied in order to ensure that all our students feel affirmed and respected. After all, we aim to help our students to walk taller not smaller and I look forward to the ongoing discussion in the months to come.”

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– A group of students reached out to 6 News alleging they have been sexually harassed while at Lansing Catholic High School.

The letter begins with the following. The full copy of the letter can be viewed at the bottom of this article.

“We are a group of Lansing Catholic High School students, across all grades, who are writing to our local media for help. We are writing anonymously because we fear retaliation from our school should they become aware of us as individuals (but there are over 40 of us writing). We are asking for your help. There is sexual harassment by our staff occurring at our school against the females. We are being harassed, embarrassed and demeaned based on how our uniforms fit our bodies. We are ogled, stared at and inspected on a daily basis by both male and female staff.

“We are absolutely not opposed to wearing a uniform, but on a daily basis the female students are made to feel uncomfortable about how they look in these uniforms.”

On Thursday, 6 News received the following response from Doug Moore, Principal of Lansing Catholic High School:

Lansing Catholic High School places the greatest importance on the safety and well-being of its students and has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment within the school community. 

Our school uniform policy is long established and widely supported by our families but in recent months some students and parents have expressed concern about the way the policy is being upheld, feedback we both encourage and welcome. 

In the light of today’s letter to local media, we would continue to urge any students or parents with any such concerns to come forward to either Lansing Catholic High School or the Diocese of Lansing so that the safety and well-being of all within our school community can be maintained.

The full letter:

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