The Springfield, Illinois School District finds itself at the center of a controversy over a policy that will prohibit students enrolled in online learning from wearing pajamas to classes online. According to KSDK the policy is an extension of the district's dress code that prohibits the wearing of pajama pants to class.

One parent not in favor of the dress policy told KSDK, "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."

Right. And that's exactly what the school district is doing. In my mind it doesn't matter if  the kids are opening up a Zoom meeting or parking their but in a desk in a classroom, the school has a right to determine how they think children can best learn. And if a school district thinks kids sitting at home in pajamas doesn't set the right tone. Then that's it.

I wore a uniform or adhered to a dress code for my entire elementary and secondary education. In grade school, it wasn't too hard. A baby blue polo shirt with navy slacks and dress shoes. That was pretty typical of Catholic grade schools in the 80's. In high school, it was a little more difficult. Dress shirt, tie, dress pants, dress shoes, no hair below the collar, no earrings, no facial hair.

By the time I was in college I had three ear piercings, a nose ring, a sweet mullet, all kinds of facial hair and regularly attended class in ripped jeans and a T-Shirt. That said, I had it a lot easier than many of my peers. Some of my classes, especially freshman and sophomore year were easy, because frankly the high school version of them I had were harder. And I had learned the discipline of showing up to class, how to study every night, and how doing the work paid off. I was amazed how many came to college without these skills.

Was it the twelve years of wearing a uniform? Probably not. It was more likely the discipline of attending schools, especially a high school, that required more of you than rolling out of bed and showing up. That is precisely what this school district is asking their kids when they say no pajamas. They're asking their students to show up ready to learn, not roll out of bed, turn on the computer and join their class while still half a sleep and downing a big bowl of Frosted Flakes. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.