Usually students are the ones protesting dress codes, but in one New York elementary school, it's the teachers whose attire has come under fire. At P.S. 64 Robert Simon School, the principal is cracking down on teachers who he says have started coming to school in clothing that's much too casual.
Among the items he's requested they stop wearing are flip flops, gym clothing, and the biggie ... jeans. That decree on denim has left more than a few defending the rights of teachers, but I think the ban is for the best.
Yes, things have changed when it comes to professional attire; somewhere in the last couple of decades, casual Friday seeped into the rest week kicking suits and stockings to the curb. Today, many industries and offices allow jeans, and that's fine, but teachers are different. Mainly, because they're dealing with children -- children who often need clear and distinct boundaries.
Teachers wearing jeans and flip flops blend in with the children, while a nice set of slacks sets them apart -- where they should be. Children have enough problems respecting authority for authority to not be asserted in big ways and in small.
Seeing teachers dressing to impress also sets an example about a professional appearance for children. As principal Marlon Hosang told WTSP, "I think we need to teach our children early on that there's a certain way you dress to go to a ball game versus going to your job."
Besides preschool and some special event days here and there, the teachers my son has had have never worn jeans. Would it be the worst thing if they did? No, but I think that little extra effort in their attire elevates them in students' eyes, even if ever so slightly, and that can make a big difference overall.
Do you think teachers should be allowed to wear jeans? Do they at your child's school?
Image via skypeale/Flickr