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Dressing lesson

Sanka Price

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TOO MANY TEACHERS are dressing inappropriately in the classroom, says National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations president Rhonda Blackman.
And she charged that the Ministry of Education needs to develop a dress code for all teachers to stamp out this undesirable trend.
“A school is a place of business and teachers should be attired in a professional manner,” said Blackman.
She stated that in the same way schools are demanding that parents who come to a school should be dressed properly, then teachers should set an example.
“How could we ask students to adhere to the school’s dress code when some teachers are dressing inappropriately?,” she asked, though stressing that it was a minority of the country’s teachers who were guilty of this. 
Blackman’s comments came after a teacher at a secondary school was asked to return home to change her attire by the principal on Thursday.
The young female teacher went to school with her tongue-ring in and wearing tight clothing.
The principal, who spoke to the SATURDAY SUN yesterday on condition of anonymity, said she was forced to take the action as there were numerous complaints from the children and some teachers.
“I thought the dress was too tight. We have young males and I feel we should be appropriately dressed because we are not only here to teach, we are here to set an example,” said the principal.
Blackman said Thursday’s incident was just the most recent that she had heard of and enough was enough.
She said: “Quite often we see some female teachers in too tight or too short pieces of clothing that they are unable to reach up to the chalkboard or bend down to pick up a piece of chalk.
Serious distraction
“The secondary school female teacher must remember that there are teenage boys with raging hormones sitting in front of them and too tight or too short a dress will definitely be a serious distraction. 
“If you are wearing clothing were your underwear is printed out or can be seen, then your clothes are too tight and the classroom is not the place for it. What message are we sending to our children? It is virtually impossible for our boys to stay focused when the teacher becomes the distraction.
“The female teachers are not the only ones who are guilty of inappropriate dress. Some male teachers are too. There are some male teachers who come to work in muscle-shirts, jeans, oversized pants. In a society where our boys are looking for positive role models what messages are being sent?
Blackman, herself a teacher, said that the Ministry of Education needed to address this matter before it got totally out of hand.
However, last night Karen Best, president of the Barbados Union of Teachers, and Mary Redman, president of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union, said they had no difficulty with the manner in which teachers dressed.