Karis Wilson was 17 years old when she was sent back home because she was wearing “lingerie” when she attended school in Canada, a situation that one of her teachers reported to the school’s administrators for action. After all, they made him feel uncomfortable every time he saw the young student who suffered an episode of discrimination.
Authorities at NorKam Secondary School in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, sent for Karis to notify the administration that her dress had affected both her teachers and other teachers, including a teacher who pointed out that the young student’s clothes reminded her of a “lingerie set,” and therefore threatened the stability of the student community.
After sending her back home, Karis never wanted to return to finish her basic education studies at that institution since the situation caused her to experience enormous stress that kept her in a depressed state of mind for a long time; however, with the help of her family she was able to recover from that stage in her life, and two years after the event she now began her studies at the University of Alberta.
How was she dressed for what she was discriminated against?
In February 2021, Karis attended high school wearing a black dress that came almost to her knees with lace trim at the bottom, while on top, she complemented it with a white turtleneck with long sleeves. The dress caused teachers at the school to start complaining about the outfit, The Mirror reported.
After learning of what happened, Karis’ dad, Christopher Wilson, said angrily via a Facebook live stream that his daughter was not wearing it inappropriately at all. “She wasn’t wearing it sexually. She wasn’t wearing it for attention. She normally wears sweatpants and a hoodie.”
He pointed out that at that time, Karis had suffered an accident while snowboarding, and for that reason, she was going through a process that kept her in a low mood. For that reason she used that dress since every time she wore it, “she felt better about herself.”
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“The day she decided to wear a dress and feel good about herself, that’s how they reacted,” said the father.
Karis didn’t leave her house for more than a week, and as the time approached when she had to return to high school, the teen became increasingly nervous as she didn’t know what to wear. “It became more about worrying what to wear to a school than seeking an education,” her dad said.
“She had missed more than a week of school, and then said, ‘Dad, I don’t know what to wear to school. If I wear just my sweatpants and a hoodie if I wear something comfortable, am I content? If I wear something I feel pretty in, am I trying to rub it in your face?'”
Karis was finally able to finish her high school studies, albeit from home. But she was able to attend her prom with her friends. Two years later, the now 19-year-old attends college, and as part of her birthday gifts, her father dedicated some touching words for her:
“Karis Wilson, you’re beautiful, you’re resilient, you’re smart, you’re compassionate, you’re funny, and most of all, I love being around you. Happy 19th.”