Jeff Davis public school employees getting a dress code

JENNINGS — Visible face piercings or distracting tattoos, frayed jeans and flip-flops could get public school employees sent to the principal’s office this fall, under a new dress code approved by the School Board.

While a student dress code has been in place since 2000, Superintendent Kirk Credeur said no written parishwide policy was in place for employees.

“Every school has had some procedures and practices that they expected of their teachers, but there wasn’t a board policy,” he said.

Some principals have expressed concerns that some employees’ style of dress was too relaxed, and they wanted to ensure a level of professionalism, Credeur said.

“Although we don’t think we have a problem with the way most of our teachers dress, we felt we needed to be proactive and address some of those concerns and what we as leaders feel the professional level is,” he said.

In researching the matter, Credeur said administrators found that the parish was one of the last ones in the area without an employee dress code.

Central office staff, the principals association and school leadership teams helped make recommendations and set guidelines for a dress code, including consequences for violations.

“There are some things in there that are improving dress, but I don’t think it’s so restrictive that it’s going to inhibit anybody from wearing things that are comfortable or fashionable,” Credeur said.

Under the approved dress code policy, the following attire is unacceptable:

Bare-midriff shirts and spaghetti straps/tank tops.

Denim, except on designated spirit or casual days; no stonewashed, faded or frayed jeans will be allowed.

Wind suits, sweatsuits, jogging suits and overalls.

Shorts and skorts.

Low necklines.

Visible body and face piercings, except for ears.

Distracting tattoos and visible facial tattoos.

Thong flip-flops, shower shoes and slippers.

Caps worn indoors.

Open-shoulder and sleeveless garments.

Ear lugs and tongue jewelry.

The policy requires belts for pants with loops; skirts and dresses no shorter than 2 inches above the knee; and school-related T-shirts on spirit or casual days. Shirts must be tucked in or at an appropriate length. The policy also requires natural hair color.

Physical education teachers may wear wind suits and shorts no more than 2 inches above the knee in the gym and during P.E. classes. In all other cases, they must follow the regular policy.

Scrubs may be worn by those working with medically impaired students and special-education pre-K.

Employees who don’t comply with the dress code will be subject to disciplinary action, including an evaluation form placed in their permanent file and a warning letter in their personnel folder. After a third violation, an employee could face termination.

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