A concerned father in Louisiana father is speaking out about the “inappropriate” spirit week themes at his daughter’s middle school in the hopes of raising awareness regarding the style guidelines for young students.
Late last week, M.J. Mouton shared an image of the “dress day guidelines” for the week-long homecoming festivities at his 12-year-old daughter’s middle school in the town of Iowa, which included suggestions for "Stoplight Day," during which kids were encouraged to wear stoplight-inspired colors to signify their relationship status, as well as "Boys vs. Girls Gender War" day, which encouraged children to wear pink or blue.
“Monday is … Wear Red if you are taken. Wear Green if you are single. Wear Yellow if it is complicated,” Mouton wrote on Twitter, in a post that has since been liked over 147,000 times, shared 19,000 times, and sparked over 4,000 comments. “She is in middle school. Totally inappropriate. Welcome to Louisiana.”
Twitter users have since described the guidelines as "gross" and "out of touch with reality” for young kids.
Mouton later told Yahoo Lifestyle and confirmed on Twitter that the “Stoplight Day” theme came from the neighboring Iowa High School, where students “do it to find who is available for Homecoming,” but felt the message was absolutely wrong to impart on grade-schoolers.
“Kids should be kids. 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,” he told KPLC.
Another parent of a child in an Iowa High School similarly agreed that the “Stoplight Day” theme was in bad taste for young children.
“Being that I do have a child in high school, I mean, he does have a girlfriend, so, to me, I was OK with it. But thinking middle school, to me, that’s kind of young, and they really don’t know anything about relationships and stuff,” Doneka Dugas told KPLC of the controversial theme.
Twitter users were largely horrified with both the “Stoplight Day” and “Gender War" themes, and quickly voiced their disapproval.
“I’d have my kid wear a stop sign. For crying out loud, that’s nuts,” one commenter felt.
“Also unacceptable to divide #gender for pink/blue day. There are tons of fun ideas for students without #sexualizing students or alienating #LGBTQ students,” another agreed.
“This is bad on so many levels … aside from the bad messages, the stoplight colors will make lonely kids feel lonelier & open others up for humiliation. And 'gender wars'??? Wtf??!” one said.
Reaching out to the schoolboard, Mouton received the following message:
“Our intentions were not to cause undue stress on students or their families. Unfortunately, we did not hear about them until so late in the week that we were unable to change our days,” reads an image of the alleged letter Mouton received, and later shared to Twitter. “I can assure you that we have plans in the works for next year to avoid a repeat of these circumstances.”
Because of this, Moulton said he's glad he spoke up.
“If nobody said anything, they would just let this go on for years and years,” he told Yahoo.