The headmaster of a primary school appeared on television Wednesday to defend her stance that parents should “dress appropriately in day wear” when they drop off and pick up their kids from school.
On January 20, Kate Chisholm, head teacher at Skerne Park Academy in Darlington, U.K., sent a letter home asking parents to set a better example for their children.
“I have noticed there has been an increasing tendency for parents to escort children to and from school while still wearing their [pajamas] and, on occasion, even slippers,” Chisholm wrote. “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?”
A letter sent to parents scolding them for wearing pajamas to school. (Photo: Ross Parry/SWNS)
According to the Daily Mail, Chisholm said, “If we’re to raise standards it’s not too much to ask parents to have a wash and get dressed…I have had loads of 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 if they’re a good role model for their children and want them to get a job and better yourself then they ought to get dressed…. I do believe it’s possibly the case that [pajamas] have become more trouser-y but I really don’t think it’s too much to ask.”
Head teacher Katie Chisholm wants parents at her school to dress nicer. (Photo: Ross Parry/SWNS)
On Wednesday, Chisholm appeared on British television station ITV to further explain her decision, saying she had started noticing the PJ trend had been picked up by “30 or 40” parents at school.
Despite her resolve to make school a nicer (looking) place to be, Chisholm admits that she can’t demand that parents dress up — such as Karen Routh, 49, (below) who wore jammies to drop off her 8-year-old daughter Holly, because she was running late and didn’t feel well.
(Photo: Ross Parry/SWNS)
“I imagine there might be some people who keep up wearing [pajamas] for the next six months to prove a point,” Chisholm said. “I can’t force people to get dressed but I will keep sending letter home in the hope that they decide to put on a pair of jeans.’
Wearing PJ’s in public has also become a hot-button issue for some schools and municipalities in the U.S. In 2014, a Florida school board member insisted on a dress code for parents who showed up to school in sleepwear. And in 2012, a Caddo Parish, Louisiana commissioner failed to gain support for a proposed ordinance that would have prohibited people from wearing pajama pants in public.