When a British principal began seeing more and more parents showing up in pajamas at school, she decided to take action. Her plea to the adults to dress more appropriately has now gone viral.
Kate Chisholm, the head teacher at Skerne Park Academy in Darlington, England, noticed moms and dads wearing sleepwear, sometimes complete with slippers, while walking their kids to and from school. Some even wore pajamas to Christmas performances, parents’ evenings and assemblies.
One such garment was pink and covered with unicorns that had “Z’s” coming out of their mouths, she recalled.
“I thought it got to the point where I’m going to have to say something,” Chisholm told TODAY Parents.
“I know that I can’t tell parents what to wear, but because we are a school where we’re trying to raise standards and we’re trying to make the best possible lives for the children who come to the school, I think we just needed to say something about the dress code in general.”
Chisholm did just that last week, writing a letter to all parents and asking them to “take the time and dress appropriately in day wear that is suitable for the weather conditions” when escorting their kids.
The plea is generating intense media attention and lots of discussion. There was a similar scene in Florida in 2014 when some school districts expressed concern about how parents dressed when they picked up their children from school.
Back in the UK, all the attention has stunned Chisholm. The majority of parents at the school are wonderful and many agree with her position, she said. Some were vocal in their support.
“I hope this helps get the message across to parents. It’s disgraceful, we should be guiding our children not giving them bad habits,” Phil Naylor, whose kids attend the school, told The Guardian.
A couple of parents, however, have made it a point to show up in pajamas in protest. Some said they dress that way if they’re running late or feeling unwell.
Chisholm just shakes her head, not sure why wearing sleepwear in public have become acceptable.
“People are comfy in their pajamas and also feel they can sort of get away with it,” she said. “A decade ago, it definitely would have been unthinkable to even answer the door in your dressing gown.”