Evangeline Parish Schoolboard Meeting
Wednesday, 10 February 2021
Tensions rose at Wednesday's meeting of the Evangeline Parish School board after Board Member Nick Chaumont suggested allowing parish teachers to wear tennis shoes for the rest of the school year. Up until now, starting when COVID precautions were first discussed, teachers could wear tennis shoes on the condition that they were to be worn with scrubs only during certain phases of COVID-19. Lately, teachers have been calling board members to request that they be allowed to wear more comfortable footwear at any time. Most board members spoke in agreement; Sheila Joseph stated that tennis shoes do not affect a teacher's professionalism, especially given their current situation and precautionary measures.
However, other board members disagreed. Nancy Hamlin suggested that there are other comfortable footwear options, such as flats, and that teachers are not required to wear heels. Board President, Wayne Dardeau, argued that this school year has not been any more difficult than past years and that to give in to teachers' request for tennis would lead to more difficult demands. He said that the line had to be drawn somewhere and that teachers have already been given multiple extra days off this school year. Board Member Joseph countered his arguments, stating that teachers had not requested those days off, but that they were caused by the current world situation.
In the end, a motion was unanimously carried to allow all employees to wear tennis shoes, without having to wear scrubs, for the remainder of the current school year. Board Member Karen Vidrine ended by suggesting that the board revisit their footwear policy next year, arguing that many tennis shoes are appropriate for professional use, while many heels and flat shoes allowed by the current policy are inappropriate for schools.
In other news, the schoolboard accepted the low-cost bids for several building improvements, including: electronic access-control doors for the Media Center and Central Office from Flynn's Building Specialties and a canopy for the parent pick-up at Mamou Elementary from Jeanmard Inc..