Kate Chisholm, the headteacher of Skerne Park Academy in Darlington England is under attack for asking the parents of her primary school children to ensure that they dress appropriately for the weather when dropping off their children in the morning. Skerne Park is a non-profit primary school, so we’re talking children that are in 1st thru 5th grades, and apparently the parents are dropping off their children while wearing pajamas, robes and slippers, even as their children have a required school uniform and clothes for the weather.
Headteacher Chisholm sent out the following letter to parents:
I have noticed that 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? While this may seem to some to be a minor point, I am sure you will agree that it is important for us all to set our children a good example about what is appropriate and acceptable in all aspects of life, not only from the point of view of their safety and general well-being, but also as preparation for their own adult life. Thank you for your co-operation in helping to raise our children’s aspirations.
Ms. Chisholm, I say a hearty “Hear! Hear!”
This seems like a perfectly reasonable request, and it’s rather ironic that parents send their children to a school that has a required uniform but the parents can’t even put on a pair of trousers and a shirt to take the children to school. Once they’re home a onesie is perfectly appropriate if that’s what the parents or caretakers prefer, but out and about?
I am apparently alone in this, however, as the response has been rather hostile in the popular media and social world. Snarky things like “let’s make sure all teachers at schools set an example and actually teach kids to read and write” and “let’s get our priorities straight: Did the kids get breakfast?”
And then there’s the victimhood current that now runs just barely below the surface in our society too: “Some parents dropping their kids off at school in pyjamas might be fighting depression & leaving the house is a huge battle.”
Today.com says some parents “have made it a point to show up in pajamas in protest.” People I can only conclude are clueless gits and unable to understand the point of setting a good example for their children. I feel sorry for their children, actually…
Look at photos of a sporting event from the 1940’s and it’s startling to see the men in suit and tie. Our standards of dress have unquestionably lapsed but I completely support Ms. Chisholm in her likely futile attempts to stem the tide, to gently remind parents that children pay attention to what you do, not what you say. If parents are saying “dress warmly, darling, it’s a cold day and there’s snow in the forecast” while walking them to school in pyjamas and slippers?
And me? I’m going to start wearing a tux to make breakfast for my children!