Tougher Dress Code for Teachers

Teachers in the Peoria Unified School District soon may need to spruce up their wardrobes to come to work.

The school board is looking to put in place rules governing what teachers and staff wear in the classroom and at various school functions by adopting a policy that outlines everything from inappropriate footwear to how much skin a blouse or skirt should expose.

Board member Diane Douglas said the dress code is a long time coming.

“We’re setting an example for students,” Douglas said. “We’re teaching them how they should look and behave.”

The proposed dress code would require men to wear a collared shirt while women’s tops or shirts must have at least a 2-inch strap.

Jeans would be allowed once per week; sweatpants, sweatshirts and other athletic apparel would be appropriate only while teaching gym class or supervising physical-education activities. No cleavage, underwear or bare midriffs may show.

It would ban rubber flip-flops and allow tennis shoes only under special circumstances.

“A high degree of our workers’ compensation injuries are slip-and-falls because people are not wearing the appropriate footwear,” Douglas said.

But the board asked staff to broaden the situations in which wearing tennis shoes would be allowable. Board member Joe McCord said they’re often the best choice for teachers, especially those chasing down youngsters on the playground at recess.

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