During the height of New Jersey’s lockdown in April when most of us were remote working and learning at home, my 12-year-old son got up early, showered and got dressed every single day before starting his school work. He was the only one of the four of us who made an effort to get dressed in actual real clothes every day. I have no idea where he found this motivation.


My 10-year-old daughter on the other hand, who normally loves to get dressed up and is all about accessorizing, lived in her PJs. The upside of that?  A lot less laundry. Despite their opposite approaches to starting the school day, they both got their work done. Well, most days anyway.

Most of us would say it doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you’re engaged in learning and getting your schoolwork done.  Now a school district in Illinois wants to ban students from wearing pajamas while online learning at home. Yup, you read that correctly: The Springfield School District’s updated student and family handbook for the 2020-2021 school year says that students who are remote learning at home should follow the district’s regular school dress code. That means no  “pajama pants” and no “slippers.”

The handbook specifically says that students enrolled in remote learning will be dressed according to the school dress code which bans “hats, caps, bandanas, hoods of any type, sweatbands, sunglasses, pajama pants and slippers” among other rules which also mandate face coverings for those in the classroom.

Not surprisingly, parents took to Facebook and other outlets to object to the dress code policy and the rules garnered media attention from national outlets. As a result, district officials relaxed the rules a bit, telling an NBC Chicago affiliate 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,” the district said in a statement. “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 statement went on to say that the district  does 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.” So it sounds like students can go back to wearing PJ pants on the days they’re home if that’s what works for them. 

Do you encourage your kids to get dressed in clothes they would have worn to the classroom for remote learning every day? Tell us in the comments.

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