Milwaukee, WI – Last week, students at the Tippecanoe School for the Arts and Humanities in Milwaukee participated in School Spirit Week, each day defined by a theme or event. But Friday’s controversial theme, referred to as Gender Bender Day, caused a stir among many parents.
Members of the Student Council decided for Friday the boys would dress like girls – if you grew up with older sisters you know what that’s like – and girls would dress like boys. However, Gender Bender Day drew harsh criticism from parents, many citing the theme as confusing to young minds and potentially promoting homosexuality.
One unidentified mother of a 7-year-old student was quoted by a local Fox News affiliate as saying, “I was speechless actually, and I asked a few of the neighbors because I thought I was overreacting, stuff like that, and everybody was speechless.”
Although she had no issue with the older teens engaging in the cross-dressing school-folly, she felt the younger students would be confused. Therefore she, and other parents, kept their kids home Friday in protest. Participation was 100 percent voluntary and not mandatory for a course grade.
In response to the uproar, the name of the theme was changed to Switch It Up Day, but the damage was still done. Several parents described the event as “ridiculous” and “creepy” and concerned it would encourage homosexuality.
Another parent, an unnamed father of a male student was also quoted in the report addressing his strong feelings on dressing like the opposite sex. “I think it’s just teaching them the wrong lesson about gender. If you’re a boy, stay a boy. You shouldn’t have something like that at school.”
One mother, Deidri Hernandez, was so angry about Gender Bender Day that she called the school’s principal to complain, the Huffington Post reports. Hernandez said, “Having students dress as ‘transvestites’ will distract from the learning process … They might as well call it ‘Transgender Day.'”
Do you feel the theme was inappropriate?
[Image via Shutterstock]