Get Schooled

Your source to discuss and learn about education in Georgia and the nation and share opinions and news with Maureen Downey

Is it OK for parents to wear pajamas to drop off their kids at school?

A few years ago on a rainy, cold morning, my husband and I were dropping our twins at their middle school when we spotted a neighbor attempting to push her disabled car off the roadway -- in her nightgown and slippers.

We offered to help, but she already had enough volunteer muscle. (We were en route to work so we had on real clothes.)

But I will admit to wearing my pajamas more than once driving my kids to school, especially on Tuesday mornings when they have to be at the high school by 7:20. However, I throw on a long coat and always wear real shoes -- largely because of witnessing my neighbor's plight and imagining the day when I might need to get out and push my car.

So, I liked this story out of the Daily Telegraph where the head teacher of a British school sent parents an ever-so-polite letter asking them to please dress before bringing their children to school or attending school events.

The parent letter stated:

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 day wear that is suitable for the weather conditions. We are trying to raise standards and get better outcomes for the children and we noticed a lot of the parents are turning up to school as well as meetings and assemblies wearing pyjamas, if we're to raise standards it's not too much to ask parents to have a wash and get dressed.

Bloggers have been having fun with this letter, none more than Scarymommy, one of my favorite parenting sites.

She writes:

There’s no way in hell moms are showing up to school assemblies in “pajamas.” I don’t believe that for a minute. They’re clearly in their favorite pair of well-worn yoga pants or black leggings, and I have news for you, Principal Fashion Police — you can pry those garments out of their cold, dead hands.

I’m clearly taking this personally, so you can guess what I look like when I take my kids to school in the morning. I’ll give you a hint if you can’t: death warmed over. But mornings are stressful enough, what with the work I have to do, the two kids I need to get fed and dressed and prepped for whatever “theme” the school has decided to go with that week. Last week I had to send my kids to school in sports paraphernalia on Monday, pajamas on Tuesday, a costume on Wednesday, beach gear on Thursday, and whatever the hell “opposites day” meant on Friday.

If you go to the blog, be sure to read the comments, many of which contend parents are not wearing yoga pants or leggings, but honest-to-goodness pajamas and sometimes less. Here are two such comments:

•I am an elementary principal in the US. No worries if a parent drops students off in pajamas when going through car rider line. But yes, they actually do come into the front office and attend parent teacher conferences in pajamas. Actual pajamas. Best (worst????) one yet? A mother came into the office in a towel wrap and slippers with wet hair. A TOWEL WRAP.

•Actually they are turning up in flannel pajamas, nighties (sometimes covered by a dressing gown/coat) and just their underwear with a dressing gown, with of course slippers, flip-flops or some footwear along these lines. They are also turning up in the same outfit in the morning for drop off, collection at 4pm and parent evening, school performances, etc. It doesn’t just end at school either, you often bump in to somebody doing their grocery shop in the middle of the day while still in their night-clothes, it’s just bone idle laziness and a does not set a good example for the kids.

I have not seen parents showing up in towels at school events. I do see a fair share of yoga pants, but they are even common now in many workplaces.

What do you think? Are parents wearing flannel pajamas and nightgowns to school events?

Reader Comments ...

About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.