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Friday, January 6, 2012

Please don’t wear your pajamas

For the past four years I’ve had at least one child in the head start program. When the current school year started in August the county head start program opened at a new location and combined a couple of the locations. One of the things I noticed right away was the number of parents wearing pajamas as they dropped their kids off at school.

Taking a child to head start is not the same as dropping them of at school. We can’t just drive up to the front of the building and let the children out, we have to park, walk inside, sign them in and then leave. Normally, I’m dressed casually in low heels, shorts, jeans, tanks, shirts as well as the occasional pair of slacks and three-inch heeled clogs. And, on more than one occasion, I have felt overdressed.

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I’ve seen parents dropping their children off in complete pajama wear – from the tank or t-shirt to the pants and slippers. Don’t even mention slippers ‘cause that seems to be the footwear of choice around these parts. I’ll never understand that. I have had full view of panties because of the thinness of pajama pants, I’ve seen the underside of pregnant bellies, I’ve been a bit horrified by the big-tittied women with NO bra and the woman who wears a shower cap (maybe she thinks it’s a sleep bonnet). There are all banner of scarves (and not the stylish, keep-you-warm kind) and what not that make me just shake my head.

What puts the icing on the cake, in my opinion, is the memo that went out to parents yesterday afternoon. The subject: “Special Concerns: Parent Dress Code.”

Here is what it said, “… Program strives to uphold professional environment at all times. Dress code is one of the areas that we ensure that our staff, parents and volunteers plays a vital role as role models for the children that we serve. Effective January 3, 2012, we will no longer tolerate parents wearing clothing’s such as pajamas, house coats, house shoes etc. to drop-off and pick up their children during school hours. Any parent observed with inappropriate clothing will be asked to leave with the child and can return with proper clothing. …”

(I’m not even going to talk about the grammatical nature of that paragraph. LOL)

I told Anna’s teacher (and the teachers who taught Andre and Amareah in previous years) that I’m not taking that memo. I’m offended. Of course, I was laughing when I said it. I am one of the parents who has never worn “bed clothes” to the school and it’s ridiculous that a memo involving that subject had to go out. As I sit here typing this I recall sending a text message to an old head start parent during one of the meetings telling her about the parent committee secretary who had on slippers one day. During the meeting. And stood to read the minutes.

I’m sure there have been times when my jeans are a little tight, shorts a little too short or a bit too much cleavage is peeking out. Not to mention the days when my hair looks like I was caught in a wind tunnel. But… seriously? Pajamas?

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How hard is it to throw on a pair of jeans and slip your feet into some flip flops? Yes, you may be tired, running late or any combination of the above – and most of us understand that – but … well, what else is there to say?

What’s the worse or most inappropriate “outfit” you’ve worn out or seen on someone else? What do you think about the head start director having to distribute a memo on that subject?

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