Bangalore, June 30: Several Bangalore schools say they have been forced to issue a dress diktat — not to the pupils but to their parents who roll out of bed and drive down in nightwear or boxer shorts to drop them off at school.
Blossoms School said it put its foot down after a 10-year-old student faced constant teasing from classmates because one of his parents would show up in nightwear.
“We endured this for a long time because we used to leave such private issues to parental discretion. But now some kids have become the butt of their classmates’ jokes because of their parents’ folly,” principal D. Shashi Kumar told The Telegraph.
Some people were apparently hanging about the school gates each morning to glimpse nightgown-clad parents. “It became an embarrassment for everyone around,” Kumar said.
More than a week after the school issued the dress advisory to parents, “many have realised their mistake” and complied, he said. But some have argued that it’s difficult enough dressing the children in the morning without having to worry about their own clothes.
“It hardly takes 30 seconds to pull on a pair of jeans.... I don’t understand why some parents are creating such a fuss,” Kumar said, adding that at least a third of the school’s 2,000 pupils get dropped and picked up by a parent.
Fathers in boxers and sleeveless T-shirts and mothers in nightdress, noodle-strap tops or short skirts are a common sight near the gates of Bangalore’s schools.
“Some of them say that if they can go to work in shorts, there’s nothing wrong in dropping the children at school in the same dress,” Kumar said, referring to the casual dressing allowed by some IT companies.
As organising secretary of the Karnataka State Private Schools Management Federation, Kumar is trying to draft other schools into the campaign.
Indian High School, Vidya Niketan Public School and Raja Rajeshwari School too have asked parents not to appear in nightwear. They say they are not imposing a dress code but merely making a firm request.
Srinath HS, secretary of Raja Rajeshwari School, said at least a fifth of the parents have been holding out.
“Many parents immediately agreed but some seem unable to grasp the issue. We may have to talk to them individually,” he said.
The managements of several other schools too admitted the problem in private but said they had chosen to stay quiet for fear of triggering controversy.
A young mother, Bhavna Bhatt, whose husband works in a BPO, told this newspaper she didn’t agree with the dress diktat.
“My husband usually works in the night shift and comes home in the morning. So it’s my job to drop the kids before I leave for work. How is it possible to dress up in such a hurry?”
But college teacher Padmini Nagarajan, whose child recently graduated from school to college, supports the schools’ move.
She said she couldn’t understand how even “educated people” lacked the “common sense” to dress properly before driving to their children’s schools.
“I once saw a well-known film actress dropping her child at school wearing only a nightie,” she said. “At least, don’t be an embarrassment to your own kids.”