By Michael Howlett
September 18, 2013
Usually when we talk about dress codes in school, we’re talking about students. Those crazy, young rascals wear the darnest things, some of which adults find inappropriate, controversial or, in some cases, downright lewd. But you must remember they’re young, full of raging hormones, and are just attempting to express themselves.
What adults deem inappropriate dress for students is nothing new, however. True, today things are a little racier than in the past, but even in the long-long-ago-before-time of my youth, some students did wear clothing that school staff thought strange and not in good taste. As you may have guessed, I was one of those.
Now, back in 1966 there was plenty of unconventional dress across the country, but here in the confines of Carroll County, change took a while to come. I figure we were about two to three years behind the rest of the country in just about everything. No lewdness was allowed in school; that was reserved for the Saturday night dances at the VFW. Yes, in those days the VFW booked rock bands for dances so students could do something besides grope each other. The dances really didn’t stop the groping; they just gave us music to grope to.
Well, I managed to get my hands on some leather pants, which were all the rage with rockers, especially Jim Morrison of The Doors, and, of course, wore them to school. Heads turned, comments were made and controversy ensued. One member of the administration strongly suggested I not wear them to school again.
Okay, back to the present. Apparently, it’s not the students who need to be told what not to wear these days, it’s the teachers. In recent years, controversy has arisen over dress codes for teachers in New Hampshire and West Virginia. Teachers in New Hampshire were forbidden to wear jeans, tank-tops and flip-flops to school, while those in West Virginia were told jeans and tank-tops were right out.
However, in Little Rock, Arkansas, the problems with dress go much, much deeper. A dress code that goes in effect in 2014 for teachers in the Little Rock School District, forbids them to wear T-shirts, patches or clothing that contain slogans for alcohol, drugs or gangs, cut-off jeans with ragged edges, cut-out dresses, anything with spaghetti-straps, see-through clothing and spandex. In addition, there can be no skin showing between teacher’s top and bottom garments. In other words, no showing off your belly-button piercing, Miss Love. Yeah, and that tattoo of Motley Crue, cover it up.
Now, this must be some school if teachers are wearing see-through clothing and spandex. I can see why such an all-encompassing dress code was needed. If teachers are wearing see-through clothing and spandex, it would be very hard for students to concentrate, some because of revulsion and others … well, because of hormones. But if you think the dress code stops there, think again. This school system has even a bigger problem with teachers’ dress.
You see, the dress code also addresses the issue of … well, ahem, underwear. Yes, teachers in the Little Rock School District apparently were forgetting to wear underwear. Now, I know that’s an easy thing to forget, but, if you’re a teacher, it’s just not professional to show off your privates. It can only get you in trouble, just ask Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner.
After reading about the lack of underwear being worn by teachers in Arkansas, I asked the lovely Mistress of the Manor if she ever noticed any teachers not wearing underwear during her 30 years of teaching at Carroll County High School. She assured me that, as far as she knew, our local teachers were professional in their dress and wore everything they were supposed to. She added that just a few years before she retired, teachers weren’t even allowed to wear sleeveless blouses. I really don’t see why this rule was needed, but then again you never know, there could have been a kid with an arm fetish who could have gotten out of control because of all that arm flesh.