A Louisiana school came under fire for bringing a romance theme to spirit week.
For homecoming week 2018, Iowa Middle School and High School asked students to dress based on their relationship status, reports KPLC.
The optional theme was dubbed “Stoplight Day.” One dad called it “totally inappropriate” for his young daughter.
Students were told to wear green if they’re single, red if they’re “taken,” and yellow if their status is “complicated.”
Parents criticized the school’s theme day for being too mature for kids so young. Iowa Middle School parent M.J. Mouton told KPLC:
“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.”
Mouton took to Twitter to voice his concerns. His post received 147,000 likes.
My daughter’s school has dress up week. Monday is…
Wear Red if you are taken.
Wear Green if you are single.
Wear Yellow if it is complicated.
She is in middle school.
Totally inappropriate. Welcome to Louisiana.
— M.J. Mouton (@MJ_Mouton) September 22, 2018
Mouton said that asking students to represent their relationship status makes kids vulnerable to bullying. He added:
“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 told Yahoo that a theme that might be “appropriate” for high school students is distracting for children uninterested in a romantic relationship. Mouton wasn’t the only parent who felt the theme sent a negative message to middle school students.
Michelle Icard told Today:
“This was just a huge mess.
They could’ve created a day that allowed kids to show who they really are in a way that expresses their individuality, which is something kids that age are really starting to explore, instead of expressing whether they belong to someone or not.”
Doneka Dugas, another mom of an Iowa Middle School student, told KPLC:
“Being that I do have a child in high school, I mean, he does have a girlfriend, so, to me, I was okay with it. But thinking middle school, to me, that’s kind of young, and they really don’t know anything about relationships and stuff. So, I mean, I don’t think my child would’ve done it if he were in middle school.”
The Calcasieu Parish School Board declined to comment on the incident, but told the station the matter has been handled at the school level.