The names of the parents and child in this story have been withheld in the interests of the minor.
HOWARD — An East Knox second grade boy who has worn a dress on occasion to class has caused concern for some in the district, which was expressed by a number of citizens during the district’s December board meeting.
The second grader has worn a dress to school roughly three times at East Knox Elementary. He’s been enrolled at the district since kindergarten, the parents said.
The parents didn’t know their son was a topic of discussion at December’s board meeting, they said, only learning via a Knox Pages article.
“He’s a boy that wears dresses,” the step mother said. “That’s it. That’s the whole of it.”
A point of contention rises from a line in the district’s dress code that takes issue if attire is “causing a distraction” at the school.
The principal and his second-grader’s teachers, have reached out to the parents at any point to say that a distraction exists, they said.
The parents also said the family felt “bushwhacked” since they advised the school their son would be wearing a dress at times, with the school showing no opposition.
“And now we hear second-hand of the school board meeting where apparently it’s an issue and then school board members are saying that they are trying to get a handle on this, like trying to solve the problem,” the father said. “There is no problem.”
The parents said they believe it’s a “manufactured controversy” by people in the community who want to exert more political control over the school system and are using an 8-year-old boy to create a stunt to make that happen.
“Let’s pretend that such a distraction did exist or we had been informed of one,” the step mother said. “That is not the problem of our son. That is not the problem of an 8-year-old child who’s just trying to exist and be 8 years old.
“That is the problem of other parents who are not frankly doing good enough at their job of teaching their children that people exist in many forms.”
The parents said they hope to find a solution to this “manufactured controversy.”
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