The problem with denim: should teachers be allowed to wear jeans? (Editorial)


Cameron Fritz

New dress code guidelines have restricted teachers from wearing jeans during certain dress down opportunities. Is this really something that needs to be limited?

“Readily distinguishable from students,” “positive role modeling,” and “professional responsibilities” are the images a Carlisle High School staff member must project in order to “present an image of dignity and encourage respect for authority.” This is all found in the teacher handbook, the same handbook that condemns jeans as inappropriate, inherently calling the piece of clothing an item that lowers one’s right to be seen as professional.

Casual Fridays are anything but casual this school year, restricted to the possibility of only two days a month, (the first is identified as the CAEA Casual for a Cause dress down day; the other can be used for a fundraising or awareness to an issue, as determined by the building principal). On these days, teachers have the opportunity to dress down their wardrobe. This is a drastic change compared to a few years ago when the opportunity was provided every Friday. This is an unfavorable change in terms of national standards; according to an OfficeTeam survey, 56 percent of workers preferred more relaxed dress codes.

Teachers are meant to be creative thinkers, to be on trend and aware of current, twenty-first century mentalities. We shouldn’t be focused on traditional, old school values, but rather the opposite. Is it not a teacher’s job to be focused on the future, to help educate tomorrow’s thinkers?

As a CHS student, I can’t help but ridicule those who constantly appear overdressed for any occasion, have it be a profession or social gathering. It fosters this impression of false importance, to dress in high standards only to sit throughout the day in rolling chairs.

I am not fighting to completely change the dress code regarding a professional standard. I am only elaborating the problems associated with the school district’s decision to continuously lower the rights a Carlisle Area School District teacher has.  The school district can afford losing a few extra days a month to comfort. It seems that these new changes seem to be more about having control over the staff rather than implementing a dress code.

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2017-2018 Periscope staff, CHS Administration, or the CHS student body.