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Ventura County

Teachers' Dress Code Questioned

Oxnard: District trustee wants to review vague policy after hearing about some instructors wearing shorts in class.


The wardrobes of elementary and middle school teachers in Oxnard could come under scrutiny tonight as district leaders consider whether their dress code for educators is strict enough.

Oxnard School District trustee Bill Thrasher said he asked that the policy be reviewed after hearing concerns about the way some teachers dress.

Someone told him several teachers were wearing shorts at a recent public event, he said.

"I'm not sure they should have to wear ties or long skirts," he said, "but I want to have a discussion about it."

The dress code, adopted in 1991, requires adults who work in Oxnard schools to be "appropriately attired and well-groomed" to serve as positive role models for students and reflect a professional image in the community.

Such wording may be too vague, Thrasher said.

"It's not specific in what they're supposed to wear," he said. "It says they should dress appropriately and in a professional manner, but I definitely don't think any professional person should wear shorts."

District Supt. Richard Duarte agreed that shorts are not appropriate for most classroom teachers but said he does not believe that is an issue in the city's schools.

He has not received any complaints about teachers' attire, he said.

"Our foremost concern is that students are provided with an appropriate role model," Duarte said. "We also have to be careful to preserve the individual rights of teachers."

The school board meets at 6 tonight at district offices, 1051 South A St., Oxnard.

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