Teachers in West Virginia's biggest school district don't want to be told what they cannot wear into the classroom.
The Kanawha County School Board last week introduced a dress code that would ban flip-flops, jeans, visible tattoos and facial piercings, and many teachers are insulted, reports the Charleston Daily Mail.
"The only statement that needs to be made is that employees need to dress and behave in a professional manner," DuPont Middle School math teacher Fred Albert, local president of the American Federation of Teachers, told the newspaper. "We don't need a prescriptive and strict policy."
Dinah Adkins of the Kanawha County Education Association agreed, telling local station WCHS
, "They don't need to be interrupted by a dress-code issue."
The ban would extend beyond dress to include hair length: anything below the shoulder has to be cut or secured.
"I guess it's a safety issue. But still, I can't see how they can tell me how long my hair can be," Lisa Brown, a preschool special-needs teacher at Belle Elementary, told the TV station.
But members of the school board in the 28,000-student, 66-school district argued they just wanted teachers to cooperate with regulations that are already in place.
"There are guidelines in the student dress code that restrict what a student wears. And all we are asking is that our staff dress in a manner that makes us proud of the Kanawha County school system," board member Becky Jordan told WCHS.
"I hate to differ with them, but students are students and teachers are adults," countered the AFT's Albert.
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