Gender Bender Day causes controversy at Tippecanoe School

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Students at Tippecanoe School have participated in several different theme days during School Spirit Week, but Friday, May 23rd's theme of Gender Bender Day caused some controversy.

Members of the Student Council decided on day's theme. It called for boys to dress like girls and girls to dress like boys.

"I was speechless actually, and I asked a few of the neighbors because I thought I was overreacting, stuff like that, and everybody was speechless," said one mother, who asked not to be identified.

The mother says she has no problem with teenagers having a fun day of dressing like the opposite sex, but her son is only seven and the theme confused him. She, as well as a few other parents, chose to keep their kids home on Friday.

Milwaukee Public Schools says participation is 100 percent voluntary, however after some parental complaints, the name of the theme was changed to Switch It Up Day.

One student's father, who didn't want to be identified, says he doesn't want his son to dress as a girl.

"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," said the father.

School board member Terrence Falk believes those creating a controversy are using the kids for political purposes.

"This is nothing new. I don't think they kids were thinking about sexual orientation," said Falk.

FOX6 News didn't find any kids who showed up to school dressed like the opposite sex. It turns out mostly teachers and other staff members had the Switch It Up spirit.