I-SS officials considering dress code for teachers, other employees

Posted at 12:48 PM on Jan 12, 2019

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BY KARISSA MILLER

Iredell-Statesville Schools officials are considering implementing a dress code for teachers and other employees after receiving complaints.

The School Board will review a proposed policy empowering supervisors to regulate employee attire when it meets at 3 p.m. Monday, January 14.

The discussion will take place in the commissioners’ meeting room at the Iredell County Government Center, 200 South Center Street, Statesville. The regular board meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the same location.

District officials have titled the proposed policy “employee dress and appearance.”

Policy 7340 states: “The board believes that the appearance and the conduct of its faculty are of supreme importance in establishing and maintaining a positive image for education in the community for presenting a good example for students.”

It will allow the superintendent to “develop and communicate to employees’ guidelines for appropriate dress and appearance. Such guidelines may authorize the principal or department supervisors to develop specific dress or appearance requirement for each school or department.”

Any employee who violates the dress code — determined through a series of factors – will be counseled by his or her supervisor regarding their clothing choice. Next, the supervisor will determine if the employee is allowed to remain at work or must leave to change clothes.

Failure to comply or repeat violations could result in disciplinary action.

The policy came about after the board asked school officials to form a dress code committee. School board member Samuel Kennington first broached the topic out of a desire for teachers to present a professional image.

At that time, school board members had reportedly received complaints about teachers and employees wearing jeans that have holes in them. “You can’t always walk into the classroom and recognize who the teacher is,” Kennington said.

In some instances, Kennington observed, students are dressed nicer and more professionally than their teacher. He also shared his expectation for administrators to be dressed in professional attire.

While many of these suggestions may seem standard, Superintendent Brady Johnson said the school district doesn’t have a written “dress code” policy for employees.

He explained that it’s left to the principals of each school to provide guidance. Acceptable attire is dependent on the grade level or position.

“A kindergarten teacher working with young kids might need to dress differently than a high school teacher,” Johnson said. “It’s also according to what’s happing on a particular day, such as spirit day.”

In other business, the board will:

► Hear a presentation on Work and Teach from Home pilot.
► Discuss the early college calendar.
► Hear an update from the School Nutrition Department
► Hear a presentation on the Statesville High School stadium renovations (phase II)
► Hear a report on budget amendments
► Hear first readings on proposed policies regarding bullying, licensure, staff responsibilities, board employees, employee conflict of interest and non and extracurricular duties.

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