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Dress Code Passed For Lewis County Teachers
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on July 23, 2013 @ 1:59PM
Created on July 22, 2013 @ 10:24PM

The Lewis County Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt an amended employee dress code on Monday night.

The board has been considering the change for several months, much to the dismay of some teachers and their union representatives. The code was amended to ban blue jeans, faded jeans and shorts. 

An attorney from the West Virginia Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers addressed the board and said the case holds on the side of the teachers. Following the decision, he stated the union could possibly file a lawsuit challenging the code.

"We're disappointed in the actions of the board. 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," said attorney Jeff Blaydes. 

Lewis County Board of Education President, Paul Derico, said, "We have to listen to the public as well. We've had a lot of comments, at least I have personally, with people saying I'm glad you board members are finally doing something about the way teachers dress. I think we are trying to be considerate of the teachers and the public at the same time."

Blaydes added there's no definitive time table to decide whether or not the union will take legal action. 

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Comments (5)
Jul 26, 2013 at 3:06 PM
It applies to the style of the pants, not necessarily the exact color.
Jul 24, 2013 at 9:39 PM
Does anybody know why the BOE chose to ban only BLUE jeans and not any other color? Couldn't the teachers just dye their dungarees a different hue and continue to wear them?
Jul 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM
I'm glad the BOE voted to amend the employee dress code. You should be able to tell a teacher from a student. I think they also need to look at the dress code for the students. The shorts seem to be getting shorter and the tops smaller. Also no baggy jeans/shorts for the boys, why can't they pull up their pants. I know I'm stepping on some toes, but that is my opinion. Keep up the good work BOE.
Jul 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM
I am a teacher and I almost always wear a polo shirt and khakis to work; however, there are a few times that I do not wear khakis that I think need to be taken into account. When I take the students on field trips that require a lot of walking, I find it much easier to do the walking in jeans. This year I plan on taking the students to Seneca Rocks for a field trip. I do not think that dress clothes would be appropriate for this trip, but Lewis County employees would have to wear dress clothes anyways. I would also like to mention that at the end of the year my school has a field day where students go outside the play games. The supervising teachers would have to be outside in dress clothes. It doesn't seem practical to me.

I would be remiss if I were to not mention physical education teachers. They are expected to be up and moving with their students and it might be hard for them to do if they are forced to wear dress clothes. I understand the thoughts of the Lewis County Board of Education because I see teachers who always come to work in shorts or blue jeans when they do not need to be. I just do not think that a blanket policy will ever be truly effective because there are times when "dressing down" is the appropriate attire for the day's activities.
Jul 23, 2013 at 9:22 AM
Just as the BOE has a right to create a dress code for students, the BOE, as an employer, has the right to set dress code for its employees. Teachers are supposed to set an example for students and dress professionally for a job...including tucking your shirts in!

Teachers have a choice; comply or find another job where they can wear jeans. An alternative would be a uniform. Khakis and a school-colored polo shirt would work as well.
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