MILWAUKEE – An elementary school in Wisconsin shocked and angered many students’ parents after recently inviting all schoolchildren to dress up as the opposite sex.
As part of a May 24th “School Spirit Day,” faculty and teachers at Milwaukee’s Tippecanoe School encouraged their boy students to dress like girls, and their girl students to wear boy clothes. Even though participation in the occasion was completely optional, many parents were frustrated and even shocked by the controversial nature of the event.
“I was speechless,” one mother told local television station WITI. “I asked a few of the neighbors because I thought I was overreacting, stuff like that, and everybody was speechless.”
Another parent expressed his disappointment, saying the event was inappropriate, especially for his young son.
“I think it’s just teaching them the wrong lesson about gender,” he stated. “If you’re a boy, stay a boy. You shouldn’t have something like that at school.”
Archives of Tippecanoe School’s weekly newsletter, the Tuesday Family Packet, shed light on the story.
The Tuesday, May 14th edition of the newsletter featured a school calendar, which includes events like “Donuts with Grandparents,” “Piano Recital,” “Dover Talent Show,” and then “School Spirit Day—Gender Bender Day!”
Apparently the school has facilitated several lighthearted “School Spirit Days” in the past, with themes ranging from “Pajama Day” to “Crazy Hair Day.” However, after some parents noticed the planned event and complained to school officials, a change was made to the event’s name.
In the May 21st edition of the Tuesday Family Packet, “Gender Bender Day” was no longer mentioned in the school calendar. Instead, the name was changed to a more generic “Switch It Up Day.” However, the cross-dressing theme remained unchanged.
Following the “Switch It Up Day,” school board member Terrence Falk downplayed the significance of the event, claiming people were trying to politicize the situation.
“I don’t think the kids were thinking about sexual orientation,” Falk told WITI.
Tony Tagliavie, a spokesperson for Milwaukee Public Schools, agreed.
“This was an idea created by students as one in a series of school spirit days,” he explained, according to EAGnews. “As with other days, participation was voluntary.”
The school’s principal echoed Tagliavie’s statements, saying the event was only meant to be fun.
Nevertheless, many parents were appalled that the school encouraged transgender activity to the students, some of whom are only five years old. Several parents kept their kids home for the day.
Deidri Hernandez, mother of a seven-year-old Tippecanoe student, saw the event as a shameless promotion of homosexuality to the children.
“They might as well call it ‘Transgender Day,’” she stated.
In the end, reports state that very few students actually took part in “Switch It Up Day,” even though many of the teachers and staff participated in the cross-dressing festivities. Nevertheless, the event has received widespread media attention, with outlets like National Review and Huffington Post picking up the story.
Comments on these news sites reveal a mixed bag of public opinion. One commenter said that this kind of cross-dressing routine in schools is not new.
“We used to have this same day back when I was in high school,” they said, “and that was nearly 30 years ago.”
Another proposed that the “Switch It Up Day” was simply a “stupid idea regardless of what year it began and what year it continues in.”
“Schools are not supposed to be in the habit of subtle indoctrination in regards to gender identity,” they said.
Photo: Tuesday Family Packet