Principal At P.S. 64 Says If You Want To Act The Part, You Have To Look It, Too

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new dress code policy is sparking debate at an East Village elementary school, because this one is aimed at teachers.

As CBS 2’s Cat Andersen explains, the school’s principal is cracking down on what they wear.

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A dress code for students is standard at most schools, but at P.S. 64 Robert Simon School, teachers are being told how to dress for class.

“Some folks were not wearing what I would consider to be professional attire,” Principal Marlon Hosang said.

Hosang said there has always been a policy in the teacher’s handbook that calls for professional attire. He said he’s just recently clarified that jeans, flip flops and gym clothes are not considered professional.

“I think we need to teach our children early on that there’s a certain way you dress to go to a ball game versus going to your job,” Hosang said.

Some parents and school employees are on board.

“They will look up to them more in a professional way,” parent Evelyn Valerio said.

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“I feel that if you’re professional, if you’re dealing with parents and students, look the part,” P.S. 64 staff member Ron Marli added.

But others said the dress code is too strict for teachers at an elementary school.

“They’re dealing with paint and all kinds of things sitting on the floor, so I don’t see anything wrong with jeans or even sneakers,” parent Noemi Hernandez said.

“I can totally get the flip flops. I can totally get the gym clothes. In fact, I can totally appreciate that rule, but jeans seems a little far,” parent Sue Johnson added.

Parents who disagree with the new policy said it’s depends on your point of view. Attire that’s considered inappropriate in some professional settings may be perfectly acceptable in others.

“We don’t know what these kids are going to be doing. There’s a dress code where it’s casual, or business casual,” Hernandez said.

As far as enforcing the policy, Hosang is not sending teachers home or writing them up. In fact, he said all of them are complying on their own and said if a teacher is wearing something inappropriate, he’ll simply ask them not to wear it again.

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