As part of traditional spirit week activities, the student council at Twin Falls (Idaho) High School designated April 28 as "boys versus girls" day — a name used in years past, the Times-News reported.
But some concerns were raised about using "boys" and "girls," the paper said.
So student leaders changed the spirit-week day to "blue versus pink," the Times-News reported — and students would wear one color or the other to school.
Not quite inclusive enough, apparently.
Some students — a portion of whom are transgender — decided instead to wear purple to school, the paper said. And then things got downright odd.
Poster were hung at the school declaring purple as the color that includes everybody, the Times-News said. But one student told the paper that "within a few hours, most of them had been scribbled on or taken down."
Ryan Flores, 14, told the paper he heard negative comments even before "blue versus pink" day directed toward students like him who chose to wear purple.
“I hadn’t even told anyone I would be wearing purple that day, and I was already getting yelled at about it,” he told the Times-News.
Twin Falls resident Jen Blair, an advocate for LGBT youth, told the paper her straight daughter was yelled at with statements such as “boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.”
“It was pretty hostile in the hallways all day apparently,” Blair told the paper, noting that "for students who are gender variant, it was a particularly intense day."
The mom told the Times-News that “transgenderism is a mental disease” was written on a chalkboard in one classroom and then erased — and one student told another that transgender people “just need to kill themselves.”
Then came the assembly at the end of "blue versus pink" day where students sat with those wearing the same color — but what of those who chose to wear purple?
“What I saw was just repulsive, and it made me feel ill,” Flores told the paper. He said he began to have a panic attack.
Flores told the Times-News he didn’t want to go to the boys’ side because he feared getting kicked out — but the girls' side wasn't an option, either.
“I didn’t feel like I was being thought about or valued,” he said to the paper. “I was basically being told I didn’t exist, but I know a lot of people have it way worse.”
Flores told the Times-News he knows some students who don’t identify as either gender or identify as both genders.
After school, the paper said students saw a large rock on the campus — traditionally painted with messages throughout the school year — was painted half pink and half blue. The below photo shows the symbols for male and female chromosomes, along with the word "science."
‘Transgenderism is a mental disease’: Idaho school spirit day ends in bitter LGBT feud https://t.co/ZVWWcJ3xnj https://t.co/AaBFJRQEzZ— Idaho Statesman (@Idaho Statesman) 1493846400.0
The paper said a photo of the rock was circulating online with the caption, “F*** that transgender bulls***.”
Then students who wore purple to school decided to paint the rock dark blue, which is one of the school's colors., the Times-News said. But they did so around 11 p.m. Saturday and accompanied by adults since “the students were afraid they would get physically attacked,” Blair told the paper.
The students wrote “All Bruins United” on one side of the rock and “No H8!!!” on the other side, the Times-News reported.
But after midnight that message was covered over with red paint and white-lettered phrases, “Netflix and Chill?” and ”Hulu and Commitment" — which are euphemisms for sex, the paper said.
In response, Flores has been staying away from school.
“I no longer felt safe,” he told the Times-News.
He said he'll return if he knows it's safe and that punishment has come to “the kids who have created such as violent environment.”
Flores told the paper that the school rock messages must be addressed “very seriously.”
Twin Falls High is a “battle zone,” Blair told the Times-News on Tuesday. “Kids who are the minorities just aren’t at school today.”
District Superintendent Wiley Dobbs told the paper that high school administrators weren’t aware of concerns with the spirit day until Monday.