Think virtual learning means going to school in your pajamas? Guess again.
Although distance learning has generated some mixed emotions, one of the best things about going to school online is that you get to wear your PJs to class, right? Well, that might not be true for students in one Illinois school district.
The Springfield School District’s 2020-2021 student and family handbook states that remote students must follow the district’s regular dress code. This means that despite being able to go to school at home, kids must not wear pajama pants or slippers to their virtual classes.
The handbook also states students must not wear hats, caps, bandanas, hoods, sweatbands, sunglasses, or shoes with wheels. Students must also get permission from the prinicipal if they want to wear a jacket or coat.
The Springfield School District houses 33 school campuses and decided to start their 2020-2021 school year with a hybrid plan of two days in physical school buildings and three days online every week. Parents of students also have the option of requesting full-time remote classes.
However, although the school has given flexibility in its class scheduling, some parents are angered by its strict dress code.
“This is insane,” said one mother on an Illinois news page. “They are at home. Let these kids be comfy if they are going to be at home. It's not like anyone is going to see them anyways.”
Another frustrated father wrote, “They gonna come investigate everyday? Don’t worry about what my kids are wearing in MY house.”
One concerned citizen expressed their concern for parents and pointed out the current pandemic environment. This commenter said, “Kids grow out of clothes. This is a pandemic. Many parents have lost their jobs. Let’s leave it up to the parents.”
The local teachers union agreed with most of these frustrated comments and Springfield Education Association President Aaron Graves said that enforcing the pajamas rule is at the bottom of their priority scale. He believes teachers have “more important things to focus on” during these unusual times.
Despite the angry comments though, school board member Judith Ann Johnson said she has not received any pushback from parents. She stated, “If you’re dressed nice you’re better able to perform.” By wearing pajamas to class, Johnson believes that students are not taking their education seriously.
“Generally speaking, there are no definitive one-to-one consequences outlined in our handbook for any disciplinary reason," the district wrote. "Incidents of misconduct and subsequent consequences are treated on an individual basis.”
In addition to the pajama rule, the handbook also included the following distance-learning guidelines:
- Students will attend video classes in their entirety, unless the teacher states otherwise.
- While in a video class, the camera will be on and focused on the student and not another part of the room.
- The student must be sitting up out of bed, preferably at a desk or table.
- The student will participate in classroom discussions organized by the teacher.
So, what do you think? Should remote students be able to go to their virtual class in their pajamas? Let us know in the comments!