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Kanawha teacher dress-code vote nixed

Kanawha County Board of Education members will not vote this week on a controversial dress-code policy for teachers.

The policy, which would have regulated when teachers can wear blue jeans and would’ve banned shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops, initially was listed as an item on Thursday’s school board meeting agenda, but has been removed, according to an amended agenda sent out Tuesday.

School board member Becky Jordon, who proposed the policy, said she requested that the board drop the issue, for now.

“The support wasn’t there,” Jordon said. “I felt, at this time, it shouldn’t go up for vote.”

Jordon, who’s running for re-election in next month’s primary, originally pushed for the policy, saying teachers should have to abide by a dress code similar to that of students and that having a code in place would allow principals a standard to point to when teachers’ dress is questionable.

The draft of the dress code also focused on lengths of beards and mustaches and required tattoos to be covered “at all times when possible,” as well as banning excess or oversized piercings other than on the ears.

The state’s teachers unions have being fighting against the issue for months, saying it’s insulting and unconstitutional.

The West Virginia branch of the American Federation of Teachers had planned a rally outside the Board of Education office to protest the policy before Thursday’s meeting but canceled it. AFT members had planned to protest the issue while wearing blue jeans.

“I am pleased that the KCS Board decided to pull this item from their agenda, simply because it is not needed,” AFT-Kanawha president Fred Albert said through an AFT spokeswoman. “We clearly have greater issues to spend our time and resources on.”

“Our message was clear —spend valuable education dollars on students and classrooms, not unnecessary policies and legal fees,” AFT-WV’s Facebook page said Tuesday evening. “Together, we made a difference.”

Reach Mackenzie Mays

at or at 304-348-4814.

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