Media releases

  • Brock researchers say dress codes remain an issue in schools

    MEDIA RELEASE: 12 September 2022 – R0101

    School dress code policies continue to disproportionately target girls, non-binary students and students of colour, according to 全球电竞直播 researchers who have studied the regulations across North America for the past 20 years.

    Professors of Child and Youth Studies Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby say that when young people challenge dress codes for being sexist or racist — whether through gendered rules, prohibiting cultural fashion or enforcement that singles out body shapes and hairstyles — teachers and administrators need to take it seriously.

    “Any time a young person takes a stand against a rule that adults have written and put upon them, that is brave, hard and political,” says Pomerantz. “Schools often regulate self-expression into narrow terms, where ‘appropriate’ really means a white, middle-class and heterosexual comportment — and a lot of kids don’t want to do that.”

    Raby and Pomerantz believe school environments can and should support students as they form and negotiate identities.

    “There is extremely problematic enforcement happening in some schools and troubling arguments are being made to support problematic dress codes,” says Raby. “But other schools and school boards have radically changed their whole approach to dress codes in a way that recognizes and embraces the way young people might want to represent themselves and actively tries to get away from high-level policing.”

    She gives the example of the Toronto District School Board, where administrators responded to years of feminist activism from students with consultation, reconsideration and policy reform.

    As students and parents settle into the new school year, Raby and Pomerantz emphasize the benefits of listening to young people when they talk about their experiences.

    “Adults sometimes have a tendency to say these dress codes are neutral and that they’re for everyone’s safety, without actually listening to what happens to girls when they’re singled out, when teachers ask them to bend over to determine how short their skirt is or when they’re being sent home and missing school,” says Raby. “Teachers need to listen. Principals need to listen. And I think parents also need to listen when their kids talk about why they’re upset about a rule at school and what they want to do in response.”

    Raby says caregivers should also ask why young people want to dress or express themselves in certain ways and be mindful of the harm that is caused by shaming developing bodies and identities. Conversations at home can also explore issues arising from assumptions made by others, in addition to the all-important issue of consent.

    Pomerantz adds that working through the bigger meanings of topics like rules, enforcement and identity can be a positive experience for both parent and child.

    “We tend to think of rules as neutral, invisible or common sense — for the common good,” says Pomerantz. “But if we ask kids and ask ourselves to think about what the rules are, who writes them and who are they for, we often stop seeing them as neutral and realize these rules are teaching tacit — often negative — lessons all the time.”

    全球电竞直播 Professors of Child and Youth Studies Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby are available for media interviews on the topic.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Doug Hunt, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, 全球电竞直播  or 905-941-6209

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Community-funded Brock research to explore Niagara’s past and potential future economic impact

    MEDIA RELEASE: 8 September 2022 – R0100

    The Wilson Foundation and 全球电竞直播 are embarking on a multi-year partnership to map Niagara’s history and deepen the understanding of the region’s economic and social development.

    Facilitated by Brock’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO), the project will engage the University’s scholars and students, along with members of the wider community, to dive into the region’s unique sectors that have driven growth and development locally and nationally.

    “The Wilson Foundation is pleased to support the launch of this project, examining the historic development of the Niagara region, as well as opportunities for the future,” said L.R. Wilson, the Foundation’s Chairman. The Foundation has provided Brock with a $500,000 philanthropic investment in support of the initiative.

    Seeking to conduct research that informs the future, the project’s interdisciplinary team will focus on five key economic sectors: hydro-electric power generation; manufacturing and industry; marine transportation; tourism; and agriculture and agri-business.

    Led by NCO Director and Brock Political Science Professor Charles Conteh, the team will engage researchers and faculty from the University’s Faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities, Education and Goodman School of Business, as well as 全球电竞直播 Library’s Archives and Special Collections throughout the project to provide guidance and support research activities.

    “The project brings together an interdisciplinary team in partnership with the Niagara community to advance understanding of the region’s socio-economic development prospects and challenges in a changing world,” said Conteh. “While the team will be looking at the region’s past in terms of historical trends of its leading economic sectors, it will also be examining current and emerging sectors, and comparing the region’s assets with those of other mid-sized Canadian regions.

    “The team will then situate Niagara’s economic opportunities and challenges in the context of ongoing breakneck changes in global markets and technologies,” he said.

    Three approaches will be taken for mapping Niagara’s history, including extensive use of archival materials, reliance on digital tools and the use of oral histories. The project will also provide experiential learning and research opportunities for Brock’s post-doctoral fellows, master’s students and research assistants.

    Beyond the historical case study research, the Wilson Foundation’s generous $500,000 gift will further support knowledge dissemination in the Brock and Niagara community.

    The information and knowledge gained through research will be presented using digital media, such as online presentations, maps and timelines, Archives and Special Collections’ exhibitions — both online and in person — and symposiums for researchers and the academic community.

    “Research at Brock often enriches our shared understanding of the roots and the complex interrelationships of the Niagara region,” said Tim Kenyon, Brock’s Vice-President, Research. “Outstanding scholarship of this kind means looking not only to the future, but also to the many histories that help explain what that future may hold. That is exactly what this project aims to do, and we are grateful for the support from the Wilson Foundation that is enabling Brock to do it.”

    Lastly, the gift will support the progression of Brock’s outstanding Faculty of Education, specifically with teacher-candidates interested in history. Concurrent Education students pursuing an undergraduate degree in History will learn about Niagara’s unique place in the world and how the region’s history can help Canada and future generations to thrive. There will also be opportunities for collaboration to determine how to best include the project’s case studies in the curriculum for future teachers and students.

    “This philanthropic funding from the Wilson Foundation is an investment in Brock’s future as a leader in research education and will create a purposeful relationship between the University, its researchers and our community,” said Sonia Dupte, Brock’s Executive Director, Development and Campaigns.

    A video about the Brock project and its support from the Wilson Foundation is available on YouTube .

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:  

    * Doug Hunt, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, 全球电竞直播  or 905-941-6209

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    Categories: Media releases