Pajama days are for kids but, apparently, not for parents. A British principal in northern England has asked parents to stop wearing their pajamas when they drop off their kids in the morning.
In a letter sent home to parents Jan. 20, Kate Chisholm said: “I have noticed there has been an increasing tendency for parents to escort children to and from school while still wearing their pyjamas and, on occasion, even slippers.
“Could I please ask that when you are escorting your children, you take the time to dress appropriately in daywear that is suitable for the weather conditions,” she wrote.
Some parents rebelled by showing up at drop-off in slippers and robes.
The notion that a school official would chastise parents who never got out of their cars for their choice of a commuting wardrobe struck an international nerve, including with some Minnesotans.
“The best moms wear PJs and no makeup. I’m not sure it’s a better example to show kids we care about what we look like when around people,” said Bemidji mom Jill Hanson. “I get it if you have to go into the school to talk to a teacher or something — I’d get dressed for that absolutely. But drop off? No chance.”
Chisholm appeared on a British TV station to further explain her decision, saying that parents not only dropped their children off in their pajamas, they also picked them up in pajamas and attended parent conferences and Christmas concerts in their PJs.
“If we’re going to raise standards it’s not too much to ask parents to have a wash and get dressed,” she told the Daily Mail. “I have had loads to support from the community and people saying it’s about time something was done … I don’t give two hoots how people dress at home, I just think that if they’re a good role model for their children and want them to get a job … then they ought to get dressed.”
As a former teacher, Jennifer Thayer of White Bear Lake admitted that she and her fellow teachers “snickered at” the parents who came to school in their pajamas.
Now a parent herself, Thayer said: “ I feel if I expect my kids to get dressed and out the door, I should model that behavior, too.”
Mary Hebditch, who lives in Bristol, England, also said she can see Chisholm’s point.
“Kids are expected to dress smartly in a school uniform here,” she said. “ It is harder for the children to accept that they have to dress in their uniform if their parents don’t bother to change from whatever they wore to bed that night.”
Wearing pajamas in public, including yoga pants, has become a hot-button issue for some schools in the Twin Cities. Former Minnetonka High principal Dave Adney drew national attention when he tried to dissuade female students from wearing tightfitting leggings with shorter tops.