MICHIGAN CITY | Teachers could face a stricter dress code requiring them to dress professionally and wear clothing that does not show undergarments or tattoos.
Phyllis Stark, president of the Michigan City Federation of Teachers, said she's fully in support of the measure.
“We want to be professionally dressed,” Stark said.
Prohibited garments include sandals and T-shirts with graphic inscriptions on them along with blue jeans, jogging suits and cargo-style shorts.
School Board member Beryle Burgwald said the dress code is in response to complaints not so much about how some teachers dress. It's more about being consistent because students now must abide by a strict dress code adopted in 2011.
The boys must wear khaki pants and slacks along with polo-type or button-down shirts. Girls can wear things such as capris, but any dress or shorts must not be higher than 2 inches above the knee.
Stark said there already is a dress code policy for teachers but the biggest change in the new one being crafted is a ban on teachers wearing blue jeans or any denim material along with sandals or flip-flops.
“It's really a nonissue for us. Pretty much everything else is the same,” Stark said.
Stark said exceptions also are being included for instructors in areas such as art, vocational education and physical education that require dress that's appropriate for those subject areas.
Teachers still will be allowed to wear more casual attire during events like the annual Spirit Day, where some instructors wear sweatshirts depicting the name of their favorite college and other things like head dresses and face paint to help promote school spirit among the student body.
Burgwald said he's in favor of tightening the dress code.
“I think it sets a good example,” said Burgwald, who revealed the goal is to have the new dress code in place before the fall semester.