Remote learning dress code has some Illinois parents frustrated

Education

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — An Illinois school district has a dress code for students who are doing remote learning, and there’s one specific rule that is upsetting some parents.

The Springfield School District handbook says kids are not allowed to wear pajamas while doing classes online at home.

Parent Elizabeth Ballinger told sister station WCIA, “I made the decision for my kids to be at home, and I don’t really see how any district can come in and say what my kid can’t wear in my house. I don’t think they have any right to say what happens in my house. I think they have enough to worry about as opposed to what the kids are wearing. They need to make sure they’re getting educated.”

Another parent commented online saying, “They get good grades, so worry about teaching not clothes. As long as they are covered up, who cares?”

But other parents supported the district online saying, “It makes sense. It’s just a little bit of respect to show up clean and ready for class.”

Springfield Education Association President Aaron Graves said, “In truth, the whole pajama thing is really at the bottom of our priority scale when it comes to public education.”

Graves added that the teachers have more important things to focus on, such as making sure the students get a comprehensive education during the pandemic.

“We really want to see kids coming to the table of education whether it’s at the kitchen table with the laptop there or whether it’s the actual brick and mortar school house,” the teachers’ union president said. “Raising the bar for all kids and helping them get there – whether they’re in their pajamas or tuxedo – is really what’s important.”

When asked how the dress code might be enforced, the school district issued this statement:

“The policy will be addressed on an individual basis through the Restorative/Discipline Options for Classroom Managed Behaviors as outlined in the handbook (see excerpt below). Generally speaking, there are no definitive one-to-one consequences outlined in our handbook for any disciplinary reason. Incidents of misconduct and subsequent consequences are treated on an individual basis.”

Restorative/Discipline Options for Classroom Managed Behaviors

● Conference/Processing with student

● Behavioral contract/student plans

● Restorative Practices (Circles, Skills-based coaching, etc.)

● Restitution or Contribution

● Consequences as stipulated in the approved Classroom Management Plan

● Detention

● Parental contact (all contacts should be documented using the parent

communication log on the infosystem)

● Time out

● Verbal reprimand

● Withdrawal of privileges

Bree Hankins
Springfield School District Public Relations

The school district’s full disciplinary code can be found in the student handbook.

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