An eighth-grade boy who wore a dress to class and was told to change dropped out of the school, prompting teachers to re-evaluate standards on making all children feel accepted.
An unidentified boy formally attending Fairview Middle School in Tallahassee, Fla., wore a dress on Tuesday, causing other students to snicker and tease him, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Teachers tried to neutralize the situation and asked the boy, who identifies as “gender-neutral,” to change his clothing. Instead, he dropped out of the school.
“This was about protecting them from the other kids and their ways of not understanding,” Principal Scott Hansen told the Tallahassee Democrat. “Unfortunately, in middle school there is not as much freedom for expression.”
According to Superintendent Jackie Pons, the school environment facilitated the rejection of the cross-dressing boy and needs to be confronted, claiming the student’s feminine clothing was not the problem.
Pons’s office released a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat saying school leaders were going to update regulations on gender codes and regulations, and added teachers are “sensitive to ever-evolving issues.” While the school principal called the situation a “teachable moment” on “societal issues like this.”
Currently, regulations in the Tallahassee-area allows students to wear clothing that personally represents them, but if the outfits interfere with lessons or disrupts the classroom, teachers are may to step-in.
After the boy dropped out of the public school, some students rushed to his aid, and launched a LGBTQ campaign called “The Rally,” the Tallahassee Democrat reported. (RELATED: San Francisco School Switches To Gender-Neutral Bathrooms For Little Kids)
It is unclear if the students will actually form a rally in support, but a few middle schoolers did write a letter to the ACLU about the situation and even plan to wear colorful, LGBTQ-themed clothing and dresses to school on various days of the week.