|Janesville School District dress code proposal met with skepticism|
|Written by Dan Plutchak|
|Friday, 16 November 2012 11:14|
JANESVILLE — Janesville School District teachers may have to pick up the employee handbook before they open their closet in the morning if school officials approve a new dress code policy.
The draft policy, which runs a little more than three pages, includes examples of appropriate attire, exceptions and inappropriate attire.
The Janesville School Board discussed the draft proposal Tuesday at its board meeting. The Personnel, Policy and Curriculum Committee is expected to discuss the proposal again at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Educational Services Center, 524 S. Franklin St.
The policy, which still is in the planning stages, eventually will become part of the employee handbook, taking the place of the union contract in defining working rules and conditions for district employees.
In part, the draft proposal states that, “Dress, grooming, personal cleanliness and professional behavior standards contribute to the professional image we strive to present to our students, parents and visitors.”
The policy recommends collared shirts and casual or dress slacks for men, as well as women’s skirts of “modest length.”
Among the dress options prohibited is blue-jean material of any kind, causal shorts, leggings, jogging suits, sweat suits or sweatshirts.
School board member David DiStefano, who proposed including the dress code in the handbook, said the guidelines are common sense.
“I think this is being blown completely out of proportion,” DiStefano said of the criticism of the policy.
School board President Bill Sodemann said a policy would provide consistency across the district.
There was skepticism among some of the board members that being too specific would cause more problems than it would solve. Board member Deborah Schilling recommended the policy back off on the details, which she said may become outdated.
“I don’t want this dress code to lock us into 2012 styles,” she said. “We should leave more discretion to building administrators.”
Board member Gregory Ardrey also argued that the rules might be too specific. He noted that what he was wearing, a collarless shirt, which would violate the policy.
Board member Karl Dommershausen, wearing a bright red hoodie sweatshirt that also would violate the policy, said he was uncomfortable with the policy. “I’d like to see it simplified and turned over to the administrators,” he said.
Steve Sperry, director of human resources, emphasized that the proposal was only a draft and meant to be a starting point to encourage discussion.
A link to the draft is at JanesvilleMessenger.com.