Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Mike Landis: A man's pants are his castle and they'd better not be bluejeans
As the Joplin R-8 Board of Education discussed a policy on staff conduct, including dress code, that Landis thought was opening the door for- horror of horrors- bluejeans, steam was coming out of his miniature ears.
Board member Lynda Banwart, who is on the board's Policy Committee, was open to leaving it up to building principals to decide if teachers, who are currently allowed to wear bluejeans on so-called Eagle Pride days (the Friday closest to payday) could wear them on Fridays. Board member Debbie Fort had expressed a similar opinion at a recent meeting, noting that her employer, Missouri Southern State University, allowed bluejeans on Fridays.
That was not good for the senior board member Landis, who has been on the Joplin R-8 Board since students were brought to school on covered wagons.
In a voice even higher-pitched than usual, Landis squeaked, "I will not vote for that!"
In a lecture similar to the one given by Board President Annie Sharp at a recent meeting, Landis indicated there was no place for blue jeans in the Joplin Schools, at least not as far as teachers are concerned.
Landis noted that the school district was one of the largest employers in Joplin and the teachers needed to show professionalism.
Superintendent C. J. Huff expertly interjected, "A vast majority of our teaching staff wants to come to work every day looking professional."
Banwart noted that if the Joplin Schools want to be the "employer of choice" that things like that, which may not seem important to some, could be a factor.
Huff pointed out that parents also play a role in that, leaving unfinished what appeared to be a statement that parents do not want teachers wearing bluejeans.
The board unanimously adopted the policy, which does not specify anything about bluejeans, but the Policy Committee will go over the procedures that will be used to implement the policy and set guidelines on when bluejeans can be worn.
In the meantime, Joplin teachers will continue to wear pants, if nothing else to cover up their tattoos.
We definitely don't want to get that one started again.
The most important thing to the two longest-serving board members, Sharp and Landis, seems to be that no matter how close to financial ruin they may have steered the district, at least the teachers will be dressed for success.
(Photo: C. J. Huff makes a point, as board member Mike Landis wonders what the teachers would look like without pants.)
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