CCSD discusses revised dress code for teachers

Published 7:45 am Friday, August 19, 2022

The Chambers County school board discussed the possible implementation of a teacher dress code at their work session meeting on Wednesday. This comes after the decision to implement a uniform policy for students across the entire district starting in 2022-2023.

Superintendent Casey Chambley said that he did not believe that the dress of the majority of the teachers in the district was an issue but that the recent implementation of the uniform policy in students brought concerns to light.

“I think we can all agree that professional dress is important, and I would say that 90% of our teachers already dress that way,” Chambley said. “I don’t think we have many issues with the dress of our teachers, but I think it’s been highlighted a bit and people are more sensitive to it because of the student dress.”

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Chambley also noted that it is challenging for a teacher to enforce a uniform policy when they are not following similar procedures. He said he had received around 15 to 20 calls or emails from parents regarding the issue.

“We don’t have very good legs to stand on when a teacher or parent professional says ‘young man, I need you to tuck in your shirt,’ and they are standing there with a polo on that is untucked.”

Chambley did clarify that he did not believe that teachers should be held to the same uniform policy of the students but that they should be expected to dress in a professional manner.

“I think some of our teachers are thinking that we are going to pass a uniform policy for teachers,” he said.  “Neither myself nor any of the principals felt like a uniform is what we should go with…however they all agree that some defining of the roles and some examples of what professional dress or business casual may look like would be appropriate.”

District 6 Board Member Jennifer Hunt stated that the board should also be very cognizant of teacher morale if they do decide to implement any policies.

“A big thing we also have to worry about is morale…We have to think about employee satisfaction, and I just want us to be careful because I don’t want us to lose teachers,” she said. “Where the children don’t have an option unless they go to a private school, our teacher can go somewhere else and teach.”

While the members of the school board agreed that the issue of teacher dress should be resolved, the question of what exact changes should be made was not finalized. The board is expected to further discuss ideas for a teacher dress code at a future meeting and to get feedback from principals across the district before voting to implement any new regulations.