Teachers in the Little Rock, Ark., school district have one year left before they have to comply with a new dress code that requires wearing underwear.
A late August letter from the Little Rock School District’s Office of the Superintendent to all employees explains that the dress code will officially go into effect in the fall of 2014, according to The Daily Caller.
“Foundational garments shall be worn and not visible with respect to color, style, and/or fabric,” the letter reads. “No see-through or sheer clothing shall be allowed, and no skin shall be visible between pants/trousers, skirts, and shirts/blouses at any time.”
EAGnews.org notes that district superintendent Dexter Suggs co-authored a letter with teachers union president Cathy Koehler, laying out the new rules. However, the Arkansas Times reported when Suggs imposed the new policy, “complaints arose” and Suggs delayed implementation “to give staff time to adjust.”
Items also on the prohibited list include t-shirts, patches and other clothing containing slogans for beer, alcohol, drugs, gangs or sex. Other banned garments include cut-off jeans with ragged edges, cut-out dresses and spaghetti-straps if teachers aren’t wearing at least two layers.
The Daily Caller also notes that Koehler detailed her position in a letter to the rank-and-file and talked about her fear that “if an employee refuses to go home and change they can be considered insubordinate and risk losing their job based on an opinion.” She also notes that things could be a lot more restrictive. Teachers can still wear tennis shoes, for example, and male teachers don’t have to wear shirts and ties.
This is not the first time the issue of teacher dress code has come up in recent years, according to EAGnews.org.
A union attorney for Lewis County, W.Va., teachers claimed a proposed dress code policy was a violation of his members’ “statutory and constitutional rights” and threatened court action and in New Hampshire, a school board proposed banning blue jeans, sneakers, slip-flops and tank tops. The superintendent told the board that teachers felt such a policy was “derogatory and condescending.”