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What are you gonna do? Give me detention? Illinois schools ban pyjamas in online classes

While remote-working adults adhere to 'business in the front, party in the back'

As the mercury hits tropical levels in the UK, Vulture Central continues to deliver enterprise tech news in various states of undress.

But spare a thought for kids in the Illinois state capital of Springfield who have been told they cannot wear pyjamas or sit in bed while enrolled in online classes.

The school district's student and family handbook [PDF] has been updated for 2020-21 with various policies addressing the coronavirus issue, and under the "school culture" section are some guidelines for remote learning.

It's specified that students will be "sitting up out of bed preferably at a desk or table" – so there go the dreams of thousands of teens who had hoped to spend the entire day there – and that they "will be dressed according to the dress code."

This, unfortunately, rules out any comfortable clothing like "pajama pants" and "slippers", along with all the usual prohibited items.

Jason Wind, director of school support, was quoted by Fox 5 Atlanta as telling school board members: "The expectation is that the dress code is upheld. We don't need students in pajamas and all those other things while on their Zoom conferences."

The question is how it'll be enforced. The grown-up world of work seems to go by the maxim "business in the front, party in the back", which is to say as long as you don't look too awful on camera, whatever's off camera is fair game.

Or maybe that was mullets.

Mother listening and dancing to music with embarrassed teenage daughter

Parents slapped with dress code after turning school grounds into a fashion crime scene


Still, as you'll no doubt remember, kids are little shits. Many teachers can be totally ineffectual when physically standing in front of a class of them, and it only takes one remote-learning smartass flouting the dress code to say something like: "What are you going to do? Give me detention? I've been in quarantine for four months!"

Not all parents are on board either. One was quoted as saying: "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."

Indeed. Even at uni no one cares this much about how the students are dressed. At the turn of the century, Ugg boots – that horrendous crime against fashion – lounge pants, and hoodies were all the rage among academics, who looked like their scheduled lecture had rudely interrupted their morning nap.

On the other hand, at least the US kids don't have to wear uniforms. British pupils look like they will be returning to school in September wearing scratchy shirts, suffocating ties, and irritating Teflon come what may.

I'll spare you what I'm wearing. This is a family tech news site. And it's nearly lunchtime. ®

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