Parents of students at a Wisconsin elementary school were upset over a themed Spirit Week day that encouraged girls to dress as boys and boys to dress as girls. But as it turns out, one local news outlet reported that it couldn't find many students who actually ended up participating.
The so-called "Gender Bender Day" was drummed up as an idea by the Tippecanoe School's student council and took place Friday. Some parents said they believed it taught "students the wrong lesson," WITI reported.
A note was sent home to parents alerting them of the school spirit day. (Image: WITI video screenshot)
“They might as well call it ‘Transgender Day,’” Deidri Hernandez told EAG News.
After complaints, "Gender Bender Day" was renamed to "Switch It Up Day," and Milwaukee Public Schools told WITI student participation in the role-reversal dress up day was completely voluntary, not required.
“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,” one mother, who asked not to be identified, told WITI, noting that she didn't have a problem with teenagers participating in such a themed day, but for young children it might be confusing.
Another parent who asked to remain anonymous told the station he believed it was "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,” the father said.
Some parents chose to keep their children home from school Friday because of the themed day.
Ultimately though, WITI reported it couldn't find students who chose to dress as the opposite gender for the day. It was mostly teachers and staff who participated.
"In the end, we couldn't find many kids who dressed up as members of the opposite sex, just a couple teachers," the WITI reporter said.
Students coming out of the school appeared to be dressed in the usual garb of their respective genders. (Image WITI video screenshot)
Staff do the can-can in their "gender bender" clothes. (Image: WITI video screenshot)
School board member Terrence Falk told WITI he believed parents were politicizing the issue. "My son-in-law remembers having the same kind of day in a Lutheran school in Sheboygan," Falk said. "This is nothing new. I don't think kids were thinking about sexual orientation."
Let us know what you think of a "Gender Bender" day by taking our poll:
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.
(H/T: Daily Mail)