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Pajamafication of America Hits Snag in Bennington 

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America is a nation of casual dressers. We revel in our relaxed, bordering on comatose, dress codes. Shorts and sweat socks to the office? Sure! Tank top and sweat pants to district court? Why not! Stained jeans and an XXXL Taylor Swift T-shirt to a funeral? Absolutely!

Our slovenliness has trickled down to the youth of America, who think nothing of wearing their bed clothes out of the house. If you doubt that we are in the all-out throes of a national pajamafication, you need only visit UVM in the middle of the day when classes are in session for confirmation. Every third student will be moderately hung over, shuffling around in shearling slippers their mom bought them from L.L. Bean, and one in every five will be sporting flannel pajama pants featuring cartoon animals whose emasculating effects are not yet fully understood. If you're lucky, you'll see a handful of students striding across campus wearing nothing on the bottom at all. But whatever. It's college! 

Students as slobs is not a new trope. Lord knows the ripped soccer shorts and oversized flannel shirts of my youth were just a notch beyond rags on the sartorial spectrum. But with this new trend of bed clothes as day wear, slobdom has reached new heights. One Vermont school principal has had enough. He's saying good night to PJs in his classrooms. Amen, brother.

Thanks to a recent revision to the school dress code, students at the Mt. Anthony Union H.S. in Bennington will be prohibited from wearing pajamas and slippers in school. No word yet on whether marmish bedjackets or lacy negligees will be allowed. Also no word on whether Pajama Jeans will pass muster. Associate Principal David Beriau, in a recent Associated Press story, was quoted as saying that slippers were a "safety hazard" and that students who come to school in their pajamas are "prepared for something other than learning." Like sleeping? Or living under a bridge?

While I disagree that slippers are any more dangerous footwear than, say, an untied basketball sneaker the size of a Kia, I applaud Beriau for standing up to the teenage bloc. He said the school wanted to reinforce civility by banning jim-jams. Good on them. Though I doubt the reason for the students' relative incivility was because they came to school in their pajamas. More likely it's because their parents get dressed like every day is a pajama-jammy-jam.

I get kids wearing pajamas all day long, but adults? Unless you work at a mattress store, or a hospital, it's unacceptable. This pajamafication is epidemic and must be stopped. Seriously, how hard is it to change out of your sleepwear? You can be casual, sure. Slide on some Crocs. Pull on a pair of high-waisted Lee jeans. Hell, rock a velour tracksuit on the airplane if you want. But maybe try to look like you didn't just roll out of the sack. 

In addition to losing the right to wear pajamas to school (except on special Pajama Days!), Mt. Anthony students are prohibited from wearing clothing that is "excessively tight so as to be provocative." Good luck with that one, teachers. 

For your listening pleasure, a song about wearing pajamas to school: 

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Lauren Ober

Lauren Ober

Lauren Ober was a Seven Days staff writer from 2009-2011.

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