Students are in an “uproar"—in the words of one parent—after a middle school principal in California forced a 13-year-old to change his clothes Thursday. When students at Ethan Chase Middle School were given the opportunity to dress as a Disney character for spirit week, eighth-grader Austin Lacey went "all out,” KTLA reports. “I’m just one of those people,” he says.
Austin showed up to school in a sparkly blue dress and long blonde wig, unmistakably the trademarks of Elsa from the popular film Frozen. But he was almost immediately told to take the costume off by his principal.
“The principal’s action was based upon the need to stop a general disruption to the school environment,” KTLA quotes a statement from the district’s superintendent as saying. But BuzzFeed reports that’s not what Austin’s mother, Brooke Francey, heard.
Lacey “was informed the principal does not agree with boys dressing like girls,” she writes on Facebook. And she says the principal told her the same. “The statement made to me was, ‘It is not okay for boys to dress like girls or girls to dress like boys.’"
Austin, who was told to remove the costume before school even started, says classmates were cool with it and were posing for photos with him. "It wasn’t a disruption,” a fellow student tells the Press-Enterprise. “Nobody had a problem with it."
According to a second Facebook post from Francey, students are passing out flyers encouraging everyone to cross-dress next week to support the LGBT community. "This is a real problem, and as students it is our job to fix this,” the flyer states. (These boys were asked to leave school after dressing as Nikki Minaj and Miss America for spirit week.)
By Michael Harthorne
(Photo: Photo by Walt Disney Pictures/Everett Collection)