By Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - Some teachers in the Burlington school district have expressed concern about a proposed dress code that would ban certain attire, including denim jeans and open-toed shoes.

Novelty T-shirts or sweatshirts with logos, cartoons or pictures or sayings inappropriate for school would be barred, the Hawk Eye reported ( ). Teachers and staff also couldn’t wear shorts in air-conditioned buildings. Miniskirts, skorts and spaghetti-strap dresses wouldn’t be allowed.

The policy reads, “We desire our employees to project a professional image and set the example for our students.”

The Burlington School Board discussed the proposal earlier this week and is expected to do so again at its May 12 meeting.

Board member Darven Kendell said the board has received complaints about how some staff members have been dressing.

“We looked at what other schools in the state are doing,” he said. “We are just in the general discussion phase, and this is not final.”

Some teachers expressed their concerns at the recent board meeting. Melissa Carlson, a sixth-grade science teacher at Edward Stone Middle School, said she gives “300 percent every day” to her job.

“I don’t feel like the board is giving me or my colleagues the respect back with such policies. With all the initiatives we are doing in this district for the purpose of educating our students, my attire is not hindering the educational process.”

Marlis Robberts, president of the school board, said officials are not trying to punish teachers in any way. But she added that there are concerns, and it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

“There is no perfect dress-code policy,” Robberts said. “I don’t know if the shoe issue is perfectly nailed down, but we have had some safety concerns on a practical note. We are not trying to invade any teachers’ right to be in charge of their classroom.”


Information from: The Hawk Eye,

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