Dress Code for Little Rock Teachers: I kid you not!

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 10th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Education

In August, I wrote about a Siloam Springs dress code policy that was slut-shaming the female students of its campus. Little Rock has decided to go a step farther and slut shame the teachers. I cannot make this stuff up!

Slut-Shaming Teachers

I have to hand it to my home state (Arkansas). Not only have several school districts gone out of their way to slut-shame students, aiding and abetting the current and rising rape culture, but when I saw that a community was going further -- slut shaming teachers -- well, you knew I wasn't going to be able to keep quiet about it.

Underwear and bras must be worn

Yup. This is in the dress code -- underwear and bras must be worn (by female teachers). Men must wear underwear. Undershirts are not required. I want to know who has the job of checking to make sure that underwear is being worn. At what point do female teachers (or free-balling male teachers) start filing sexual harassment lawsuits?

In addition to the bra requirement, female clothing must not be see-through or sheer. "Foundation garments shall be worn and not visible with respect to color, style, and/or fabric. No see-through or sheer clothing shall be allowed, and no skin shall be visible between pants/trousers, skirts, and shirts/blouses at any time." (Item 3 of the letter from the Little Rock Superintendent's Office)

Now, if you have ever seen a whale-tail on a young teacher at an assembly, you might think that this letter is practical advice. And I'm sure it means to be. At least, I'd hope that this wasn't another petty attempt to slut-shame women at their place of work and proclaim that doing so is only in the best interest for the young people.

But wait, there's more. And in my opinion, it's ugly.

Clothing must fit properly; and not be too tight

From the same letter, there's a section on pants:
"Pants must be sized appropriately. No hip-huggers that reveal flesh are
allowed. No spandex or leggings are allowed. Pants must not be
excessively tight or sagging."

And on shirts:
"Shirts/blouses shall not expose the midriff. Sleeveless shirts/blouses must fit
the employee appropriately... Casual tee shirts (faded, sheer, out of shape or inappropriately sized) are not allowed."

Obviously, this superintendent has never been pregnant, trying to lose weight, or in-between sizes. Moreover, the subjectiveness of this requirement makes the requirement suspect.

No jeans

There's also a requirement suggesting no jeans except on approved days. I'm sure they'd love to see all the women in long flowing dresses or nun's habits or burqas. But jeans are sturdy attire -- great for wiping your hands on after you've been kneeling in the middle of a hallway, helping a young person retrieve belongings when they've tripped and fallen. Jeans prevent a lot of see-through that many cheap dress slacks do not. They hold up better to abuse like ramming a hip into a desk or filing cabinet out of fear of taking one's eyes off the students for more than a blink. Not to mention that some jeans look dressier than slacks or scrub pants -- and tend to be more forgiving with weight fluctuations. Not that the author of this article would be speaking from personal experience, or anything (cough, cough).

What students won't learn from a teacher dress-code

This dress code for teachers will not make students pay better attention or teach children how to deal with inappropriate (which is personal opinion, anyway) attire when they see it on the street, at the grocery store, or at the mall. I can understand and respect wanting to make a positive learning environment for our children. But fat-shaming, slut-shaming, and playing into the rape culture only perpetuate all the things we don't want for our children.

The other major problem I have with this letter's appearance is the timing. School started August 20. School was out in June. If these officials really felt that the clothing choices of their employees needed to be addressed, why in the world would they wait until school started again? Why not get input from the employees and write up a dress code policy that wouldn't shame anyone?

Leaders at each school made a choice to hire these men and women based on their talents teaching young people. Now they are going to go to these same people and nit-pick their clothing? It is absurd. I'm not a big fan of the teacher's union or frivolous lawsuits, but I'm hoping the school district gets nailed on this one.

Photo credits go to Wikipedia, except for the photo in the section "no jeans." My dear sister-in-law, Tori Brunson, took that photo of me. I have worn that outfit on several professional occasions, and have always been complimented on it. Someone claiming this outfit "unprofessional" is paying too much attention to my clothes and not enough attention to me. End Rant.
Wikipedia Photo Credits:
Section 1 & 5 -- Wikipedia - Education
Section 2 -- Wikipedia - Whale Tail
Section 3 -- Wikipedia - Muffin Top

Write for Wikinut: follow this link: http://www.wikinut.com/in/wjejeh/


Bras, Dress Code, Slut Shaming, Students, Teachers, Underwear

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar madugundurukmini
10th Sep 2013 (#)

school dress

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
3rd Oct 2013 (#)

What about school dress? Do you think uniforms should be required of teachers and students? Or am I missing something? And many apologies for not responding sooner!

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
10th Sep 2013 (#)

you are a trip Phyl...love it....

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
3rd Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carolina! And many apologies for not responding sooner! I really thought I had!!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Connie McKinney
10th Sep 2013 (#)

Agreed, Phyl. Teachers should be judged on how well they teach not how they dress. Arkansas is paying way too much attention to appearances and not enough attention on how well teachers actually do their jobs.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
3rd Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Connie! And my apologies for not responding sooner -- makes me wonder if I DID respond on my phone and it didn't transfer correctly or something... Because I know I saw these comments...

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?