A teenage boy who turned up to a dress-up day at school wearing an Elsa costume is making a stand against staff who told him it was ‘inappropriate’.
Austin Lacey, 13, from California, USA, wore the adult-sized Frozen outfit for the Disney-themed spirit day at Ethan Chase Middle School in Menifee.
On arrival at the school, he was instructed to remove his wig and hand it over to staff, on the orders of the school principal.
According to the boy’s mother, Brooke Francev, he was told the principal did not agree with boys dressing like girls.
Posting on Facebook to raise awareness of the event, Francev said: ‘I went into the school a few hours later and met with the principal. He confirmed he instructed the campus supervisor to confiscate my son’s costume.
‘He reported it was a distraction (even though school had not yet started) and stated it was “dangerous.” There were girls on campus in full costumes.
‘The principal confirmed directly to me it was not okay for any child to dress as the opposite sex because it was too distracting. The statement made to me was, “It is not okay for boys to dress like girls or girls to dress like boys.”‘
A statement from Romoland School District Superintendent Dr. Julie Vitale read: ‘This action was taken in accordance with district policies.’
‘At no time was there an indication that the student was expressing any particular message.
‘The Principal’s action was based upon the need to stop a general disruption to the school environment.’
Francev said she had spoken to other parents in the school who reported similar issues.
‘One boy wore a pink tutu in support of breast cancer awareness month and was nearly suspended for ‘attempting to incite a riot’,’ she wrote.
‘He was asked in front of many other students by school staff if he was homosexual and whether or not his father was involved in his life.
‘This is a blatant abuse of power and I am hoping to draw as much attention to this issue as possible to prevent this from happening to other students.’
Following the incident, the teenager has created rainbow flyers to encourage his classmates to cross dress every day this week in support of the LGBTI community.
‘This is a real problem and as students it is our job to fix this,’ the flyer explains.
‘So join us in the fight to do what’s right!!!’