This School District Banned Pajamas for Students Learning Remotely

Should online learners have a dress code?

By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: Reggie Casagrande

Reggie Casagrande

One benefit of distance learning is that students can simply roll out of bed, turn on their computer and instantly be in their virtual classroom. Talk about a great commute. However, one school district in Illinois is putting restrictions on what students working remotely can wear when they hop into a Zoom meeting. According to the new school dress code, students can't wear pajama pants, slippers, sunglasses or hats while in their virtual meetings.

Springfield Public School officials say they want students who are distance learning to be prepared for the school day as if they were attending school in person--and this includes what they can and cannot wear and where they should be sitting. In addition to banning pajamas, school officials have said students should be "sitting up out of bed, preferably at a desk or table." So, forget about attending math class from the comfort of your bed, kids.

"We don't need students in pajamas and all those other things while on their Zoom conferences,” Director of School Support Jason Wind told members of the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education.

He added that many school administrators agree and want students and parents to know about this change to the dress code. "Everyone in the committee felt that was an important portion to this to make a change and state that very specifically," he said.

The Springfield School District has about 14,000 students and will be starting this school year with a hybrid program in which students will attend in-person classes two days a week and the other three days will attended virtually.

The new rules have been met with mixed reactions from parents and students. While some parents say it helps set a positive precedent for students working virtually, critics believe that, during these difficult times, the school should simply focus on how to best educate students and ensure they have the needed technology and resources at home.

However, if a student breaks the no-pajamas rule or is lying in bed during class, school officials may not punish them.

"If there is a specific concern as it relates to dress code, we will address it individually with the student and their family," district spokeswoman Bree Hankins said in a statement.

So, while students can’t rock their favorite pajamas during virtual learning, they can still find comfy clothes to wear that are deemed school appropriate.