Last Friday’s cross-dressing day at a Milwaukee elementary school proved contentious.
The school-sponsored event was one of the theme days during school spirit week at Tippecanoe School for the Arts and Humanities. While the themes for each of the other days were sufficiently milquetoast, Gender Bender Day — as it was originally named — raised a few parental eyebrows.
Members of the school’s student council chose the transvestite theme, reports WITI-TV. The idea was straightforward: boys were encouraged to dress like girls and girls were encouraged to dress like boys.
Deidri Hernandez, the mother a second-grader at Tippecanoe, found out about the plan and complained to the principal, reports EAGnews.org. School officials allegedly responded by saying that the school’s actions were not illegal. At the same time, officials also opted to change the themed day’s name to “Switch It Up Day.”
“I didn’t have a problem with the title. I had a problem with the activity taking place,” Hernandez told EAGnews. In her view, the notion of sponsoring a cross-dressing day at a grade school is “ridiculous” and “creepy.”
“They might as well call it ‘Transgender Day,'” the irate mother opined.
Another parent told WITI that he doesn’t want his son to attend school dressed as a girl.
“I think it’s just teaching them the wrong lesson about gender,” father Sam Ward told the local FOX affiliate. “If you’re a boy, stay a boy.”
“Every time something’s bothering a liberal or an atheist, they come forward to complain,” Hernandez added, according to EAGnews. “And somebody always has a problem with Easter or Christmas.”
Hernandez opted not to send her seven-year-old son to school on Friday.
Tony Tagliavia, a Milwaukee Public Schools spokesman, assured EAGnews that the cross-dressing theme was hatched “by students as one in a series of school spirit days.” Tagliavia also stressed that participation was completely voluntary.
School board member Terrence Falk suggested that the complaining parents are trying to play politics with a harmless themed day dreamed up by students, according to WITI.
“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 the kids were thinking about sexual orientation.”
In a pretty massive letdown after all the hubbub, WITI reported that it couldn’t find a single cross-dressing student at the elementary school. Only some teachers and staffers were caught up in the transvestite spirit of Switch It Up Day.