Styled Out: Cross dressing can’t happen in schools

Once again, gay people are apparently out to destroy the world — but this time, we’re trying to do it through clothing at Maude Wilken’s Elementary School. New Jersey teacher Tonya Uibel is being targeted as the ultimate arch nemesis after attempting to put on a runway show honoring Women’s History Month as an assignment for her elementary school class. Sounds fun, right? Not for everyone, I guess. A bunch of parents got their panties in a twist over the prospect of their sons even flirting with the idea of cross dressing.

It has to be noted that not only did Ms. Uibel provide each student with an informative, 16-page packet to take home with a full explanation of her intent when creating the project but also with examples of how her students could choose to dress for the show. She says, “If your child is a young man, he does not have to wear a dress or skirt, as there are many time periods where women wore jeans, pants and trousers. However, each child must be able to express what time period their outfit is from. Most of all, your child should have fun creating their outfit and learning about how women’s clothing has changed!”

Tonya made it a point to clarify that the young men were not at all expected to wear a dress or skirt of any kind, as many women in many a more recent era wear pants. What an innovative and interesting way to not only shine the spotlight on the great history of women to such a young audience but what a way to break down barriers and point out our similarities with men as well as our differences through something as simple as clothing. I was glad to hear that this poor teacher’s superintendent is standing behind her through all of the backlash and the now cancelled fashion show. He says, “But it was a misunderstanding. It was meant to demonstrate students’ awareness in women’s roles, and along with that, their changes in fashion over time.”

So let me get this straight — it’s totally OK for little girls to dress up like boys when playing make believe, but at the mere mention of a boy possibly even slightly resembling a woman for the sake of an educational lesson is to be spat on? It automatically emasculates him and is demeaning? It’s like those parents who rip Barbie dolls out of their son’s hands or something. The whole idea is completely crazy and disgusting to me. It’s indefinitely setting a poor example for the entire young class with a group of angry adults (their parents, no less, the most important role models in their lives) telling them that it is absolutely not OK to blur the lines of gender separation. Nope — not even a little bit.

The mother making the biggest stink is one pointing the big gay finger. Mrs. Giandomenico told the press that she also found it “very odd” that the event was scheduled to coincide with an anti-bullying “Day of Silence” organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which is encouraging students nationwide to remain mute during classes on Friday to call attention to verbal and physical abuse of gay students.

Obviously a school board would put it’s entire reputation on the line so that one evil (possibly queer) teacher can attempt to turn an entire class of juveniles into effeminate little gay boys. Give me a break! Thanks to one of the very few outbursts like the one I just mentioned, the class has now been assigned a far less stimulating project to wrap up their year of learning: Drawing a picture of a person dressed in clothing from a specific time period as the lesson plan’s culminating project. Wow. Thanks, mom. Let me just go put on my ankle length denim skirt and apron so as not to offend.

Are you as “alarmed” as these parents?

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