UPDATE: Teachers Address Stricter Dress Code at Lewis County BOE - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

UPDATE: Teachers Address Stricter Dress Code at Lewis County BOE Meeting

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The Lewis County Board of Education met with its attorney on Monday to discuss its plan to impose a dress code on teachers.

The American Federation of Teachers warned the board at the last meeting that dress codes are illegal.

The board's attorney reviewed what is and is not legal when it comes to dress codes and presented at the Lewis County Board of Education meeting on Monday.

The board will review the attorney's findings, and decide at its next meeting whether to place the dress code back on the agenda.

Original Story:

The Lewis County Board of Education wants to institute a stricter dress code. This dress code won't affect the students, as dress codes usually do, but it will affect the teachers instead.

At the last Lewis County Board of Education meeting on May 29, a stricter dress code for teachers in the county was brought up, this didn't go over well with the teachers.

At the meeting on Monday evening, teachers showed up wearing blue jeans and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) T-shirts. Representatives from AFT were also at the meeting there supporting the teachers and said this dress code goes against West Virginia Law.

"Everything that we have says that they have exceeded their authority, that they cannot legally adopt a dress code. We're simply saying to use common sense, and let the administration handle this," said Frank Caputo, a representative from AFT.

The dress code would not allow teachers to wear blue jeans, regulate skirt lengths, and make the current dress code stricter overall.

Many teachers spoke out at the meeting and explained that when they wear blue jeans, it doesn't affect the way they teach.

"It's our attitude, our attitude towards the students. The students know we care, and it doesn't matter what I have on, they're going to know that I care about them," said Teresa Allen, a sixth grade teacher at Robert L. Bland Middle School.

The teachers also explained to the board that sometimes business attire isn't appropriate at all times in the classroom.

"Next year, I'll be teaching science, we do 50 percent labs in science and sometimes business attire is not appropriate for that, and I want to make sure I meet the needs of my students, and comfortably while doing so," said Sarah Lough, a Robert L. Bland Middle School teacher.

After hearing from the teachers and representatives from AFT, the board voted unanimously to the table the matter, and discuss it further. This was a decision the teachers appreciated.

"That shows that the board does respect us that they are taking into consideration our view points, and I really appreciate that," said Lough.

The board said it will discuss the policy further, and make a decision at a future meeting.

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