School district bans pajamas for students learning remotely from home

By JACQUELINE LAUREAN YATES, ABC News

(SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) — 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.

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.

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