Parents Are Mad About This Inappropriate School Spirit Week Dress Up Theme

My oldest child is a freshman in high school, and this week is homecoming week, also known as spirit week, at his school. So, each day they’ll be dressing up according to something that the school has set in place. Today was “wacky tacky day.” Tomorrow is “career day.” You get the idea. Over the weekend my son and I visited a few different thrift stores to find him everything that he needed to go with all of the team days this week. I’ll be honest, it was really fun. He’s not much of a participator, and so I was excited that he wanted to participate this week.

However, some middle school parents in Louisiana are not excited to have their kids participate in their school spirit week. According to one parent of a child at Iowa middle school, M.J. Mouton, the very first day of spirit week has a totally inappropriate theme for middle schoolers. Mouton took to Twitter to air his grievances. (But it should be noted that he also took them to the school directly and received a response.)

See, this parents issue is with “stoplight day” which calls for students to dress according to their “relationship status,” green for “single,” yellow for “it’s complicated,” and red for “taken.”

UMMMM, how about “NOPE” to this. Nope nope nope. Of all, middle school students struggle enough to fit in and feel like they belong as it is. They don’t need a spirit week dress-up day asking them to broadcast their relationship status or lack there of to their fellow students. Secondly, I think middle school is a little too young to be having a “relationship.” Yes, I know that kids of that age do, but does that mean that we should encourage it? No, what we need to do is to encourage them to be figuring out who they are, what they’re good at, and how to be kind to others. We also need to be instilling in them that their value does not lie with whether or not they have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

Because his tweet receive so much attention, Mouton also gave an interview to his local TV station.

“Kids should be kids,” Mouton told NBC affiliate KPLC. “Sure, some middle school kids are going to have boyfriends and girlfriends and crushes, but I don’t think we need the school to play matchmaker for a 10 to 14-year-old.”

“Middle school kids are in an extremely vulnerable state—dealing with peer pressure, making friends, typical school stresses. I would encourage the school to have fun days, free dress days, but most importantly, think ahead about how these things they implement affect the emotional state of kids,” he continued.

Well said, and my sentiments exactly. How about students not receive direct pressure from their school administration to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend? YIKES. How did no one in school administration see this is a bad idea? How did it get approved? I’m going to go ahead and call this particular spirit week dress up day idea a fail.

Mouton did also post the school’s response and another tweet and it is as follows:

While I appreciate the school’s response, I do still wonder how this got approved in the first place. But, like the rest of us all the administration can do is learn from their mistakes and move forward. Kudos to Mouton for speaking out and affecting change. I’ll just be over here thanking my kid’s school for spirit week theme days like “throwback Thursday” and “90s day” (even if that one does make me feel old).

Would you have let your child participate in “stoplight day”? Why or why not?

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.

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