Target: Ms. Bex Venables, Buzz Children’s Club Leader
Goal: Denounce after-school group for excluding a child based on his clothing choices
Romeo Clarke, age 5, has been banned from a local church after-school program for his choice of dress-up clothing. When he went to the play club dressed as a princess the administrators said he was no longer welcome because his costume was “confusing and upsetting” the other children. The leader of the group called Romeo’s dress inappropriate as it did not conform to traditional gender roles.
Romeo, who has three older sisters, has been playing dress-up for years. Together they also like to play with dolls and sing songs from Frozen, Romeo’s favorite movie, while pretending they are princesses. Romeo’s mother says he likes sparkly and shiny things and often likes to watch his sisters paint their nails and straighten their hair.
Georgina Clarke, Romeo’s mother, asked several of the group’s parents if they felt the same way. None admitted to being opposed to the child’s playclothes, nor did any hear complaints about the dress from their children. When she confronted the leaders about their discrimination they remained firm that they would not allow Romeo to wear these types of playclothes in the facility.
Instead of practicing acceptance the after-school program unfairly discriminated against a young boy for expressing himself. As a five-year-old Romeo is not yet overly concerned with gender roles. He is more focused on having fun. Show your disdain for the Buzz Children’s Club’s ridiculous exclusion of a playful young boy.
Dear Ms. Venables,
Recently Romeo Clarke was asked not to return to his after-school playgroup because of his preference in dress-up clothing. The boy enjoys playing with his sisters’ dolls and other toys predominantly geared toward girls. Instead of demonstrating tolerance for Romeo’s choices your group excluded him because his choice of dress did not conform to traditional gender standards.
At five years old this boy has little concept of gender expectations. It is hurtful and confusing for him to be excluded for something so trivial. Given your group’s affiliation with the church you should be focused on welcoming everyone and teaching valuable lessons on fairness to any children that did not understand Romeo’s play costume choice. I am outraged by your discriminatory actions, and demand an apology to the child and his family.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ronny Siegel via Creative Commons