School district bans pajamas for students learning remotely from home

Parents are speaking out against banning pajamas while learning from home.

An Illinois school district is banning students from wearing pajamas during remote schooling -- a move making some parents unhappy.

The specific guidance comes from Springfield School District's 2020-2021 student and family handbook. The handbook states that pajama pants are not allowed in school and extended the policy to remote learning.

Director of school support Jason Wind told members of the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education, "We don't need students in pajamas and all those other things while on their Zoom conferences," during a recorded Zoom meeting.

"Everyone in the committee felt that was an important portion to this to make a change and state that very specifically," he said.

As fall classes are slated to begin Aug. 31, some parents have spoken out about their concerns over the dress code policy.

Emily Parkinson, a fourth grade special education teacher based in Chicago tweeted, "This makes me angry. There's a global pandemic, many parents have lost jobs, kids are doing the best they can to cope ... and they're going to be disciplined for what they wear ... in their own home? Come on, Illinois."

A woman from Arizona tweeted, "Why are schools so hell-bent on telling kids what to wear then swear up and down they can't make kids wear masks on campus?" Her tweet received over 10,000 likes and more than 500 retweets.

On Facebook, there were a few parents who weren't completely opposed to the pajama ban.

"I think it's a good idea to get up and dressed and ready for school," Kathy Ward wrote. "I guess excused if they have no clothes that fit that day. If they love PJs they could maybe earn a PJ day. My kids had school clothes and play clothes. Just like we had work clothes but not everyone can do that I know."

Springfield Public School District 186 coordinator of public relations and marketing Bree Hankins told "Good Morning America" in a statement, "Our handbook and updated guidelines for remote learning were developed collaboratively with administrators, teachers, and parents, with the best of intentions to provide a framework to navigate this new educational landscape."

The statement continued, "Our hope is that students approach remote learning as they would in a classroom setting, to the extent possible given each student's individual circumstances. However, we understand the interpretation of the dress code in a remote learning environment will differ from a normal school setting. It is understandable that during remote learning our dress code will be flexible."

The district has affirmed that it does not intend to be punitive or to prescribe what students wear at home during remote learning during such uncertain times.

Hankins' statement also points out that the district is appreciative of the input and attention that has been given to their handbook, and they are open to making the guideline more supportive and inclusive.

The Springfield School District has about 14,000 students and plans to kick the school year off with a hybrid program in which students will attend in-person classes two days a week.