COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — Male teachers at Colonial Heights schools just saw a big change to their dress code, however some in the city aren’t too happy about it.
It’s a tradition as old as many schools: Teachers wearing a shirt and tie. School Board Chairman Mike Yates did it for 34 years while working in the schools.
“These days it’s much more casual, you don’t see people wearing coats and ties like they use to,” said Yates.
Teachers have recently proposed cutting the necktie from the required wardrobe all together several times, but when the proposal made it before the school board, they acted.
“I think with teachers as a whole, I don’t think you have to have a tie to earn a teachers respect, you earn it by your presence and how you act in the classroom,” said Yates.
At a recent School Board meeting, the board voted 4-1 to nix the tie. Vice Chairman Chris Kollman, III told 8News on the phone he voted “no” because he wanted the issue to be left up to individual school principals. He says half of the principals wanted to keep the tie requirement. Kollman says he hopes professionalism isn’t lost when teachers dress down.
With the vote, the board also decided to study the female dress code. Yates says some female teachers may be stretching the boundaries when it comes to their wardrobe.
“We need to tighten up the policy,” Yates said.
Parents we spoke with were split on the tie issue.
“They should be a role model for the kids, they should wear a coat and tie,” said Kenneth Hope, who had children go through Colonial Heights Schools.
“I don’t think it’s important. I don’t think nowadays a neck tie is that important for people to wear,” said Sandy Francisco, who has a kid who will soon start in Colonial Heights Schools.