The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Reader Reaction: Blue denim issue is a red hot debate


A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked if Clovis school teachers should be allowed to wear blue jeans to work. Some responses:

“THE FACT THAT (SUPERINTENDENT Neil) Nuttall and those in control actually spent their time ... outlawing teachers in blue denim amazes me.”

— Auggie Jones, Clovis

“I SEE NO PROBLEM with jeans. An ag instructor with a suit makes no sense to me. Do clothes make the person? I don’t think so. ... The teachers can teach in a suit or jeans, and so long as they are neat in appearance, I don’t think it should matter.”

— Dan Toledo, Clovis

“I KNOW MY ANSWER will be unpopular but I believe if you want to be treated and paid like a professional you should dress the part. Today there are many strong, comfortable materials that can be worn in the classroom. Denim has its place in the labor force, but not in teaching. Our teachers should present an example to their young impressionable following. ... Lead by example.”

— Jim Sitterly, Clovis

“IF A TEACHER WANTS to wear blue denim I see no problem with that, as long as it’s in good taste.”

— Michael Williams, Clovis

“IF THE CLOVIS SCHOOLS administration thinks a ban on blue denim being worn by teachers and administrators will help in the effort to set an example for the kids, then the ban ... seems appropriate. If the ban is merely an effort to push conservative values on others, that’s another matter entirely.”

— Brent McBee, Clovis

“I BELIEVE THAT PUBLIC school teachers are our most valuable resource. If they want to wear blue denim to class then I think they should be allowed. Not all dress codes are equal; dress codes for public education shouldn’t be about image, they should be about safety and practicality. Public education is the hardest work anyone will ever do. The least we can do is allow them to dress comfortably.”

— Gail Adkins, Clovis

“PROFESSIONALISM AND RESPECT IS earned through attitude, personal presentation, competency, and appearance. As such, teachers should set the example and emulate these characteristics. Jeans are fine for those instructors who need to wear them in their specialty — agriculture, shop, etc. — but in the classroom, jeans are not professional.”

— Bruce Ford, Clovis

“EMPLOYERS HAVE A RIGHT to dictate what their employees are allowed to wear ... I just wish they would exercise some common sense by exempting the shop and ag teachers from the ban. Blue denim serves a functional purpose as opposed to a fashion statement for them.”

— Richard Lopes, Clovis

“MAYBE I AM OLD-fashioned, but I do not believe teachers should be wearing blue jeans. They are there to teach and set an example. Other businesses have dress codes for their employees and so should schools.”

— John Frey, Clovis

“A SIGN OF PROFESSIONALISM is in the way you dress as well as your professional knowledge and behavior towards your job/career. For example: A lawyer shouldn’t wear denim to court, right? So, why would the topic even be up for discussion as to wearing denim in a classroom setting? Our schools should be professional learning centers. Therefore, the utmost of professional dress standards should be held in the highest regards — right up there with the highest standards in excellence for our youth in an education setting.”

— Tanya Hughes, Clovis

“YOU HAVE TO LOOK at where we live. Blue jeans are as common as Allsups are around here.”

— Charles F. Hemphill, Clovis

“I THINK WE PUT too much emphasis on unimportant things! There are some gorgeous blue denim outfits that are very chic and dressy. And I see nothing wrong with dressy jeans and sweaters or jackets, especially in this Southwest area. As long as teachers (and students) are clean and covered decently, what difference does it make?”

— Kay Arvizu, Clovis

“SEEMS TO ME THAT denim has been considered casual attire in the professional world. Teachers should consider themselves professionals and dress accordingly. If schools are to increase their standards, should not the instructors be among the first to raise the standards?”

— Frank Dalton, Clovis

“I THINK THEY ARE in a professional job, they should dress like professionals. If they have no pride in their appearance, how do they instill pride in their students?”

— Mac McDonald, Clovis

“IF THE TEACHERS WANT students to dress appropriately, then they should too. Years ago, no teacher would have gone into a classroom dressed in jeans. The women wore dresses and the men wore slacks and button shirts. I think we should go back to this; if not dresses for the women, at least slacks and appropriate tops. If the teachers dressed better, maybe they would regain the respect they deserve from the students.”

— Cecilia Carpenter, Clovis

“I DON’T THINK IT is fair or necessary to prohibit the wearing of blue denim by teachers. I feel that less rigid dress codes for teachers make them more approachable and do not do anything to their teaching abilities. I think people just want to nitpick. I think we should be more concerned with the quality of their teaching than with their wardrobe.”

— Amy Graves

“A ONE-SIZE-FITS-all policy just doesn’t seem to be working. Lighten up, already!”

— Dorothy Nelson, Clovis


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