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Parents outraged at elementary school's 'Gender Bender Day'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 29th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

When is a boy not a boy or when is a girl not a girl? According to the Tippecanoe School for the Arts and Humanities in Milwaukee Wisconsin, those definitions were meant to be twisted around in a "fun" activity called "Gender Bender Day," when boys were encouraged to dress as girls and girls, boys. Predictably, parents of the students reacted negatively, saying the day promoted homosexuality.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The event was part of the school's "Spirit Week." Pupils from kindergarten to eighth grade were encouraged to dress like the opposite sex.

Describing the event as "ridiculous" and "creepy" parents felt it was just further confuse their still developing children's ideas regarding self and sexuality. 

"I think it's 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," Sam Ward, who has a child at the school, told journalists.

Some parents elected to just keep their children home that day. One mother said she had no problem with teenagers having a fun day dressing like the opposite sex, but her seven-year-old son had been confused by the event.

The event came the same week as Boy Scouts of America overturned a ban on self described gay members.

Deidri Hernandez complained to Principal Jeffrey Krupar, saying that "Having students dress as 'transvestites' will distract from the learning process." She also said the event would promote the acceptance of homosexuality, according to the Huffington Post.

The school changed the name to "Switch It Up Day. Hernandez was not mollified. "They might as well call it 'Transgender Day.'"

A member of the school board member Terence Falk however, hit back at the parents' criticism, saying they were "using the kids for political purposes . This is nothing new. I don't think they kids were thinking about sexual orientation."

The voluntary theme day was selected by members of the school council and the school says it was intended to be a fun event.

School spokesman, Tony Tagliava did share this statement with Catholic Online regarding the initial report by EAG. "The assumptions reported by EAG about the intent of the event are absolutely incorrect. This was an idea created by students as one in a series of school spirit days. As with other days, participation was voluntary."

Meanwhile, Hernandez says she had never complained about a school event before. "Every time something's bothering a liberal or an atheist, they come forward to complain. And somebody always has a problem with Easter or Christmas."

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