Moi first broached the subject of teacher dress codes in the article Is Appropriate Attire One Characterisitc of the True Teacher Professional
There are several reasons I feel that all children deserve a good preschool and a good basic education. Those reasons center around the purpose of education which in addition to individual enrichment are the ability to understand and participate in the political process and the opportunity to acquire skills which will make them employable and able to care for themselves and their families. Recently, the Washington Post reprinted a story from the Baltimore Sun about teachers in Howard County Time for Class, Teach; Take Out the Tongue Stud
It was a classic case of what not to wear.
Mary Schiller, a Howard County school system employee, walked down the aisle in a gray T-shirt that read “Yankees Suck.” To accent the outfit, she wore ripped jeans and flip-flops. “Is this school attire?” Mamie Perkins asked the crowd of teachers gathered in Reservoir High’s cafeteria.
“No!” the teachers yelled back. “Mary calls that her grunge look,” Perkins, the system’s chief of staff, said laughing. “It’s perfect for Saturday.”
Howard teachers are being told to ditch their inappropriate duds in the workplace. Thursday, the system held a fashion show for 200 new teachers that showed them appropriate — and inappropriate — ways to dress in the classroom.
This year, for the first time, the school system has circulated a pamphlet, “Expectations for Professional Attire,” among employees. The guidelines were devised after officials noticed a decline in professional dress among some teachers.
The message is that the following are frowned upon: garments that expose underwear; sheer clothes; torn, tattered or disheveled clothes; flip-flops; hats; clothing with obscene, vulgar or profane language or illustrations; clothing with sexual overtones; and shorts for employees who do not teach physical education.
The expectations also list as inappropriate visible tattoos or brands that are provocative or obscene; and jewelry or other objects that are connected to the nose, tongue, lip, eyebrow or other exposed body part that may be “deemed a safety issue,” the pamphlet says. “We’re not trying to be the fashion police,” said Perkins, who served as the fashion show’s emcee. “We are a professional workplace. We want to make sure we remain that way in sharing these standards.”
Howard appears to be alone in its effort. The school system’s committee of teachers, administrators and union leaders, which created the guidelines, did not find any other area system with a similar approach to employee attire, according to Sue Mascaro, director of staff relations. She modeled an inappropriate outfit in the fashion show that consisted of a form-fitting shirt, a denim miniskirt and flip-flops.
Particularly in the elementary grades it is important that teachers model appropriate behavior and appropriate attire. Given the number of children in distressed circumstances in contemporary society, it is important that schools be one institution where appropriate behavior is modeled. Another purpose of a good basic education is to equip children with the skills and the ability to make choices about their life. It has been my observation that many in education, not all, like to “rage against the machine” or what they perceive to be the dominant political dynamic. That is their right during their off hours. If a child wants to grow up and lead JP Morgan Chase, that is THEIR choice and THEIR right as well. The teacher is there to equip the child with the skills to follow THEIR dream. Many children come from families and backgrounds who are not as equipped to nurture and promote the child’s dreams as other families are. All children deserve a chance and a teacher modeling professional dress is an important part of the education of these children.
Moi supposes that after “business casual” probably degenerated into P.J.s and flipflops, banking giant UBS put the brakes on and delivered a dress code to its employees. Huffington Post has a good synopsis of the code along with a link to the actual document at the post, UBS 43′ Page Dress Code Warns Employees Not to Show Underwear
UBS’ 43-Page Dress Code Warns Employees Not To Show Underwear t took no fewer than 43 pages for the human resources department at the Swiss bank UBS AG to establish what bank personnel should consider acceptable corporate attire.
The Wall Street Journal has the goods on the clothing guidelines for the bank that was embroiled in a nasty tax evasion scandal that lead to UBS paying the U.S. government $780 million in fines.
The UBS look book commands that employees wear suits of dark grey, black or navy blue, since these colors “symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety.” Among the “dos” and “don’ts” for women: “Make sure to touch up hair regrowth regularly if you color your hair.” Men are commanded to, “Schedule barber appointments every four weeks to maintain your haircut shape.”
Neither sex is allowed to “allow their underwear to appear,” wear short-sleeved shirts or, strangely, cuff links.
You can see the entire brochure here (courtesy of John Carney at CNBC’s NetNet,
who’s pulled a French-language page that walks you through how to properly tie a
The link to the Dress Code
As fewer and fewer folks exercise common sense maybe some type of dress code outlining expectations is making more sense.
More Tacoma School District Students Are Wearing Uniforms
Is Appropriate Attire One Characterisitc of the True Teacher Professional
Dr. Wilda may be contacted at [email protected]
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