W.V. teachers’ union takes up fight to wear shorts, blue jeans to school

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The American Federation of Teachers in West Virginia is considering a lawsuit against the Lewis County school board for imposing a new dress code, which it says violates teachers’ constitutional rights.

The code — amended to ban blue jeans, faded jeans and shorts — was passed unanimously by the board Monday night.

Carmen Shafer, a Lewis County teacher, said she was very disappointed in the decision.

“I think I give 200 percent of myself for this county, and I don’t feel like they have given me any respect back. … So I don’t understand why they are taking away the blue jeans,” she said, according to WBOY 12.

“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,” attorney from the West Virginia Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, Jeff Blaydes, said at the meeting, according to WDTV.

Lewis County Board of Education President Paul Derico said the decision was made in order to respect both the teachers and the public, who he said have made comments about the way teachers dress.

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