Fredericton — A group of young nudists in Fredericton says their school’s dress code is sexualizing young women and men and they’re holding a protest to voice their concerns.
Fredericton High School’s dress code states that all members of the educational community — faculty, staff and students alike — must “dress in a manner that is modest and appropriate.”
But the Fredericton Youth Nudists say the dress code unfairly targets those students who enjoy traipsing the hallways in the buff and buys into the idea that the human body is sexual in nature.
Sasha Bernard, the colony’s leader, said the nudists get kicked out of class or handed old clothing from the lost-and-found box and told to put it on — or face expulsion. The group has started a petition, and has also been picketing along the perimeter of FHS property with signs saying things like “Clothing is ALWAYS optional” and “Be a nude, not a prude!”
“You can’t tell young men and women to cover up; you need to address the clothed students who are sexualizing the nude ones,” naked student Alex Bossman told our reporter, who was blushing and awkwardly trying to look at an unmoving point in the distance. “What’s so inappropriate about my whole naked body in an academic setting? It’s only a distraction because the students and teachers have decided to focus on it.”
Bernard said nudists have a right to revel in the comfort of their own skin, whether they’re at home taking a shower or in class learning about molecular compounds. “It’s a culture that very much puts the blame on the victims,” she said. “We’re being told our bodies have something inherently sexual about them, but that’s just not the case. Sure, I’m showing everything, but a student wearing something provocative like jeans and a hoodie is leaving everything to the imagination … and the imagination is a powerful thing, don’t you think? I can imagine someone’s naked body to be sexually attractive, but you can look at mine right now and see that it isn’t.”
The colony of about 30 students has relocated to Leo Hayes High School, an educational environment that is more accepting of their lifestyle. Their petition has only about 30 signatures so far.