black teacherWhen I first saw the above picture I thought it was a clip from How To Get Away With Murder and that was Viola Davis playing the infamous Annalise Keating.

But it was just a picture central to a pretty heated debate that I saw on educateJamaica.org. On Facebook the organization posted the following:

This photo was posted on Facebook a couple days ago and there is a debate going on about appropriate and inappropriate dressing by teachers in schools. Do you consider the teacher (below) to be inappropriately or appropriately dressed to be teaching children? We would like to know people’s views.

I looked at one of the first comments and a young lady said “If her ass was flat this wouldn’t even be a question” She had many replies that supported her statement.

When I think about Jamaican schools, specifically the ones that had an all boys population I would think there would be always an effort from the teachers perspective to be the least ‘distracting’ as they can.

There was an unspoken dress code and so I never had a personal experience with teachers being accused of dressing “too sexy” for the class room in Jamaica.

The question of appropriate dress code however does not stop at the borders of the island, it can be applied to all schools because the general consensus is that a teacher should be dressed in a professional manner.

When I look at the above picture I tend to agree with the first comment if her butt was flat then the outfit wouldn’t seem as ‘provocative’. However there are rules that state that your skirt should be below your knee in some schools.

A black woman’s shape is what it is, we have a butt, we have hips! However my opinion is that we know our bodies more than anyone else.

We know how a pencil skirt fits our shape individually and if you have any clues at all that your clothing is a major distraction to your students then the decision on whether you should wear it or not ….is easy.

At the end of the day a teachers priority is the education of her students. If a male teacher came to school with his chest out, and he happened to be considered ‘good looking’, if his chest becomes more important than the math problem on the chalk board then he needs to button up.

Kids especially teenagers are funny, they can make something provocative out of anything if they want to and teachers have ways to diffuse those situations without adding fuel to the fire, it comes with the territory.

What I do not like is the fact that a woman’s natural shape is called into question because of who she is. The appropriate attire for a teacher is ‘professional’ and a pencil skirt can very professional even in a class room.

weigh in, do you find that there should be a question of appropriate attire based on the woman in the picture? Should she be more conservative, or is this argument totally biased?