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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Do you care what they wear?



Pasco County superintendent Heather Fiorentino thought she had a problem - teachers dressing badly. You know: necklines too low, skirts too high, entire outfits too tight. Her solution was to rewrite the teacher dress code. Gone would have been blue jeans and culottes, open-toed shoes and sleeveless shirts, among other attire. Men would wear shirts preferably with ties, women in nice suits (like Fiorentino favors, though her trademark shoulder scarf would be optional) or nice dresses. All in the name of professionalism.

The only problem was, the School Board had to approve a new policy. And board members didn't think the district had a problem of What Not To Wear magnitude. Principals, they said, had ample room to counsel the few teachers who looked better suited for an Ybor City bar than a classroom.

Unbowed, Fiorentino convened a task force to look into the issue. The group finished its work last week, siding generally with the School Board. It found no problems with teachers' attire, and recommended not changing the district's teacher dress code. It did, however, propose restrictions on teacher piercings and tattoos. The School Board gets the committee report today.

Regardless of the outcome, the superintendent does bring up a good question. Does it matter what teachers wear when they're in the classroom? What about outside the classroom? Let us know what you think.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:15am]


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