Teachers are not allowed to wear blue jeans at school

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Teachers are not allowed to wear blue jeans at school

Karlie DeFord, Yearbook Editor

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Most students enjoy wearing jeans to school, but there are some who do not get that opportunity. For teachers, wearing jeans is actually against the dress code.

Millie Hilton is an 8th grade student whose mother works for the Kingsport City School district.

“My mom teaches in KCS and she always dresses professionally,” Hilton said. “I know she is not allowed to wear jeans except for field trips and if they pay on special days. The money that they pay goes towards scholarships for students.”

Teachers cannot wear jeans regularly because many people see it as unprofessional. A few days are set aside as fundraisers each year for teachers to donate money and wear jeans. Even though teachers have to pay to wear jeans, the money goes to good causes.

Andy True is the Assistant Superintendent for Administration in Kingsport City Schools. He believes using jeans as a fundraiser is a good idea.

“Having ‘Jeans Days’ as a fundraiser was actually an idea that came from teachers several years ago,” he said. “It was a way to raise money for a worthy cause, while also having an opportunity to dress more casually on a particular day. While we don’t always tie jeans days to a fundraising effort, it can be a fun way to raise awareness and support a worthwhile cause.”

Holly Flora, the principal of Sevier Middle, agrees.

“Wearing jeans is fun for teachers,” she said. “Anytime we can mix fun with doing good for others, I think it is a positive.”

Some feel that the rule against jeans affects female teachers more than male teachers.

“It affects the female teachers more than the male teachers,” Kate Valentine, an 8th grade student, said. “Male teachers have other options that are equally or more comfortable than jeans, while female teachers don’t always have that option.”

Male teachers usually own more dress code appropriate and comfortable pants that they can wear, such as cargo pants. Female teachers mostly to stick to leggings and dresses.

Some students believe that teachers should have the privilege of wearing jeans to school.

“They should be able to wear jeans because they don’t look unprofessional if they meet certain standards,” Valentine said.

Hilton disagrees.

“I don’t think they should wear jeans to school,” she said. “I think it is important for teachers to look nice when they come to school. They are professionals and I think they should look like it. I think that when they look good, they are teaching us to look nice, too.”

One of the main reasons that the teacher dress code does not allow teachers to wear jeans is because it appears unprofessional.

“As with most professional work environments, KCS has certain guidelines in place to set standards and clarify expectations in areas like dress code,” True said. “How we dress is one way that people show pride in who they are and what they do. For teachers, they do this by working hard to be excellent in their teaching and also in the way they present themselves as professionals. I understand that dressing in the way that’s outlined in the dress code is one way that teachers and staff reflect a high level of professionalism.”

Flora agrees.

“In professional settings, most jobs ask employees to dress for their environment,” she said. “In a school setting, teachers should model professional dress as a means of demonstrating the importance of education. Teachers also often meet with parents and community members and professional attire is a sign of respect and demonstrates how we value the work we do at school by wearing professional clothes.”

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