Blue denim issue takes spotlight at school meeting

Ryan Lengerich

A dress-code issue involving Clovis school teachers reached a public forum on Tuesday night.
Clovis Public Schools’ Education Board member Mark Lansford asked that an administrative directive, which prohibits teachers from wearing blue denim at work, be placed on the board’s Feb. 10 meeting agenda for discussion purposes.
Lansford said earlier this week he had tried to place the issue on the board’s agenda for Tuesday, but school Superintendent Neil Nuttall denied the request.
Nuttall has said the issue is a matter for a school policy committee. He would not say if the item will appear on the Feb. 10 meeting agenda.
“We’ll have to see what the progress is with our policy committee, where they are with the issue,” Nuttall said. “Then I will go back to the (school board) president and she will want to know and then she will make the decision based on the information she has.”
Lansford, who said teachers have asked him to address the issue, said he doesn’t know if his request will be honored.
“I hope so,” Lansford said. “It was very encouraging to me to see the public support (at Tuesday’s meeting). I think the fact that they were here sent a message that maybe we need a change in our policy and I am working toward that end.”
About 40 people were in the audience when the dress-code issue was raised at the end of the meeting. It was not known if any of those present were teachers; they did not react when the issue was raised for discussion.
Lansford also asked the Feb. 10 meeting include a discussion about policy for adding items to the board’s agenda. He said it’s important for any board member be able to place items on meeting agendas.
“In order for a representative democracy to work we need to be able to represent our constituents. By allowing us to have an agenda item we can better do that,” Lansford said.
Nuttall said after the meeting the board will have sufficient time to consider the discussion and present a report to school board President Lora Harlan.
“We will take a look at our policy, it is a long policy,” Nuttall said. “I think we will have plenty of time to look at that and what effects that would have and how that balances. Then I will get with the president of the board and report my findings and she will make the final recommendation.”