Kanawha County considering dress code for teachers

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By Michael Clouse

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Right now, teachers in Kanawha County are only evaluated on whether they dress professionally. However, with a few issues popping up, some officials want some rules set in stone.

"It surprised me. I've been on the school board for 12 years and I was surprised we didn't have one," said Kanawha County School Board member Becky Jordon.

For Jordon, a parent herself, no dress code policy came as a shock.

"We have a dress code for our students," said Jordon, "why wouldn't we have one for our staff?"

Soon, they likely will. According to Jordon, Kanawha County School Superintendent Ron Duerring and staff are preparing a proposal.

However, not everyone is on board.

"That's generally when you run into problems," said Dale Lee, President of the West Virginia Education Association.

Lee fears a blanket policy will do more harm then good.

"Professional dress for a gym teacher is different than it is for a kindergarten teacher, which is different than it is for a middle school teacher, and a high school teacher," said Lee.

Jordon insists any policy would allow for comfort, but could eliminate distractions like short skirts and leggings.

"My children are watching what the teachers are wearing," said parent Karen Craze.

Craze is a parent of 2.

"They are a role model for our children."

"I've had younger kids come up to me and say, 'you know, my teacher's dress, it was so short,'" said Jordon, "and they couldn't get past that in the class."

That's a place where all parties agree learning is number one.

"Teachers should be hands on, active, involved with their students," said Craze.

Jordon said many teachers, principals, and vice principals are behind the idea. She said she expects Superintendent Duerring and his staff to present a proposed dress code before the board within the next month.

From there, the board will vote and possibly turn it into a set of rules.