Kilgore ISD school board trustees discussed and took action on several measures Monday evening, including budget amendments and employee dress code issued debated at previous board meetings.
Director of Human Resources Amy Broaddus displayed a slide showing new language in the employee dress code which covers some items now permitted which were previously disallowed.
“This is to reflect some of the changes that we recently made to the student dress code and of course to reflect the changing times,” Broaddus said.
At issue in particular was a requirement for teachers to cover any and all visible tattoos. Some teachers and staff called this unfair, especially in light of a dress code change which allowed students to have visible tattoos, as long as they aren’t deemed offensive.
Broaddus said many of the changes involved adding more precise language to the code in order to provide clarity and specificity.
“These are things that have come up as I’ve been here and at other school districts as far as questioning and enforcing so these things will actually help us be consistent across the campuses,” she said.
The new language states employee clothing must be neat, without wrinkles and holes, to reflect a professional image.
The code now allows sleeveless apparel but specifies items including tank tops, muscle shirts and halter tops are prohibited.
Torn or ripped jeans exposing the skin are now specifically not permitted for employees and yoga and athletic wear is also prohibited.
Male employees are now permitted to wear earrings but must keep hair which reaches past their collarbones neatly braided or tied back in a ponytail.
“Tattoos (are) the thing I get asked about the most,” Broaddus said.
Staff will now be allowed to have visible tattoos, with the exception of tattoos displaying violence, profanity, drugs or full sleeve tattoos or tattoos above the collarbone.
“If you have a little flower on your ankle, that’s not necessarily something that would need to be covered as we move forward with this.”
The dress code updates were included on the agenda as a discussion item only but trustees voted on items included in the consent agenda.
This included an approval of June’s financial report, an approval of the minutes from the June 17 board meeting and July 15 budget workshop and approval of several budget amendments.
“It was a fairly common month for this time of year,” Chief Financial Officer Revard Pfeffer said of the June report.
The only item of note on the report was a request from Pfeffer to remove from the report a check written to Parker Upholstery for recent work on district property so that it could be approved separately. The upholstery company is trustee Joe Parker’s business and the check was voted on separately so Parker could abstain from the vote to avoid a conflict of interest.
The board also approved Budget Amendment #7, which included $11,850 for finishing construction of a new playground at Kilgore Intermediate School. The project was begun with volunteer work but professionals were hired to finish the heavy, intensive phase of the construction.
The second part of the amendment was the purchase and installation of a CarRiderPro system at Kilgore Primary School.
This is an automated system which is intended to allow parents to more easily and efficiently pick up their kids when school lets out.
Trustees approved the report, the minutes and the amendment.