Public school teachers go ballistic over teacher dress code in West Va., threaten to sue
The last time The Daily Caller’s education section checked in on West Virginia, police in Logan County had arrested an eighth-grader over an NRA shirt and the kid was facing a year in jail. (RELATED: Charges dropped against 8th-grader who wore NRA shirt)
Now, teachers a few counties over are pitching a fit because the local board of education voted to prohibit them from wearing blue jeans, faded jeans and shorts to work.
The Lewis County Board of Education’s vote at a Monday board meeting in favor of the ban was unanimous, reports WBOY-TV.
The ban has been a highly rancorous issue in the rural county for some time now.
Board president Paul Derico suggested that residents weren’t happy with the way teachers have been presenting themselves in classrooms.
“We’ve had a lot of comments, or at least I have personally, and that comment is, ‘I’m glad you board members are finally doing something about the way the teachers dress,'” Derico told WBOY.
However, many of the teachers affected are deeply unhappy.
“I’m very disappointed. I think I give 200 percent of myself for this county, and I don’t feel like they have given me any respect back,” teacher Carmen Shafer protested. “They said they’re doing this to protect us from the few people that didn’t follow the dress code. As far as I’m concerned, and from my understanding, blue jeans was never involved in that. So I don’t understand why they are taking away the blue jeans.”
Like many other teachers, Shafer wore a blue t-shirt and jeans to Monday’s board meeting.
An attorney from the American Federation of Teachers, Jeff Blaydes, indicated that the union may sue so that public school teachers will have the right to wear shorts and faded jeans as they teach students.
“We’re disappointed in the actions of the board,” Blaydes told CBS affiliate WDTV. “We don’t believe it’s in the best interest of the teachers of Lewis County. We think it’s inconsistent with their statutory and constitutional rights. We’re going to explore all of our legal actions when we get back and take the next steps appropriate.”
According to MetroNews, former West Virginia Education Association President Tom Lange argued that teachers shouldn’t have to make weighty considerations about what’s on their legs each day.
“It’s pretty tough to enforce and just another thing on people’s plates that they’ve got to try to deal with and they’ve got enough stuff to deal with and worry about,” Lange said.