"They get good grades so worry about teaching not clothes. As long as they are covered up who cares?" asked one parent.
An Illinois school district's dress code has left parents divided for dictating what their children can and cannot wear at home while attending online classes. Under an updated handbook from Springfield Public Schools, students choosing to learn remotely amid the Coronavirus pandemic will be subject to the district's current dress code, which prohibits pajama pants. The dress code changes — which also forbids hoods, sunglasses, and bandanas — led to questions and concerns from parents, many of whom believe the no-pajama rule is a little too intrusive and that the district shouldn't be telling them what they can't do in their own homes.
The dress code for Springfield’s learn-from-home plan includes a ban on pajamas, which a number of parents aren’t too happy about.https://t.co/9CJ3krIUQV— Mental Floss (@mental_floss) August 8, 2020
"I made the decision for my kids to be at home, and I don't really see how any district can come in and say what my kid can't wear in my house," parent Elizabeth Ballinger told local news station WCIA. "I don't think they have any right to say what happens in my house. I think they have enough to worry about as opposed to what the kids are wearing. They need to make sure they're getting educated." According to the network, another parent commented online saying: "They get good grades so worry about teaching not clothes. As long as they are covered up who cares?"
Springfield Public Schools officials said they hope students approach online classes the same way they would attending classes in person and that means following a dress code that also bars hoods, sunglasses and bandannas, among other things. https://t.co/zdlVqOEeJU— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) August 10, 2020
Christy Schmidt, who has two children that attend school in the district, told The New York Times that she watched some of their Zoom calls last semester and found no correlation between what students were wearing and whether they paid attention. "How much hassle are you going to give the parent with four kids, working a full-time job trying to support their kids, and their kid attended the Zoom meeting, but he was in pajamas?" she asked. Schmidt's 14-year-old son, Ian, also shared his thoughts about the dress code, simply stating: "It sounds stupid."
School boards: We don't have the power to enforce a mask policy on students.— Charles (@ChuckAkpan) August 6, 2020
Also school boards: No dreadlocks. No haircuts with designs. No "distracting" hair colors. No visible shoulders. No bra straps showing. No knees showing. No open-toed shoes. No "political" shirts. No...
Although this appears to be the majority opinion, the district found support from some parents who said that the requirement was simply about "a little bit of respect to show up clean and ready for class." The school manual also requires students to be "sitting up out of bed preferably at a desk or table" during remote learning. According to ABC 7, Jason Wind — director of school support — recently told school board members that the "expectation is that the dress code is upheld. We don't need students in pajamas and all those other things while on their Zoom conferences."
Springfield Illinois School District bans students from wearing pajamas while doing online learning https://t.co/YPdhXiF2Xq— David P Gelles (@gelles) August 7, 2020
On the other hand, the Springfield Education Association president, Aaron Graves, said that "the whole pajama thing is really at the bottom of our priority scale when it comes to public education." He added that teachers have more important things to focus on, such as ensuring that students get a comprehensive education during the pandemic. "We really want to see kids coming to the table of education whether it's at the kitchen table with the laptop there or whether it's the actual brick and mortar schoolhouse. Raising the bar for all kids and helping them get there, whether they're in their pajamas or tuxedo is really what's important," he said.
This is the most idiotic thing I’ve read today! Doesn’t the school district have better things to focus on, like curriculum?! #DigitalLearning— OpheliaPGMom 🦺 (@OP_Omom) August 9, 2020
No pajama pants? In Springfield schools, students must adhere to dress code for remote learning. - Chicago Trib https://t.co/kpbVWuPt3d
The school district echoed the same in a statement to NBC 5, clarifying that the dress code will be flexible. "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," it explained. "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."
what in the world is this nonsense, are things not hard ENOUGH— Nicole Chung (@nicolesjchung) August 8, 2020
normalize pajamas/slouching on all Zoom calls 2020
District spokeswoman Bree Hankins said that they don't plan on punishing students who don't abide by the wardrobe guidelines. "We do not intend to be punitive or to prescribe what students wear at home during remote learning, especially in this period of uncertainty and adjustment for students, families, and staff," she said in a statement. "If there is a specific concern as it relates to dress code, we will address it individually with the student and their family." Roughly 14,000 students attend Springfield schools where classes are scheduled to resume on August 31 with a combination of online and in-person classes.