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Son Is Sent Back From School Because His Dress Was Too Distracting, Husband Faces Backlash
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Son Is Sent Back From School Because His Dress Was Too Distracting, Husband Faces Backlash

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Bullying is a serious problem in schools. You can fight to reduce its impact, but it still manages to rear its ugly head from time to time. Sometimes, all it takes is a single item of clothing for your classmates to start making fun of you.

One dad, Reddit user u/RogueMisanthrope, turned to the AITA community for their thoughts about a very sensitive situation. He shared how he let his son wear a dress to school. However, the boy got bullied in class, while the dad got called out by his wife. Read on for the full story and to see what the range of opinions other internet users had to share. People had some very different takes on the situation.

Bored Panda has reached out to the author for comment via Reddit, and we’ll update the article once we hear back from him.

One dad sent his young son to school wearing a dress

Image credits: leencrombez / Envato Elements (not the actual photo)

He shared what happened next in a viral internet post

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Image credits: LightFieldStudios / Envato Elements (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: RogueMisanthrope

Parents need to be aware of how their decisions can impact their children’s safety

So long as a student’s outfit matches the school’s dress code and regulations, they should be allowed to wear whatever they like. Or, in the case of younger students, whatever it is that their parents pick out for them.

Putting on a dress when you’re male shouldn’t be a big deal—it’s an item of clothing like anything else. But in many places around the world, even in progressive countries, it can cause a lot of outcry. That’s the reality of the situation.

And it’s a reality that parents ought to be aware of, at least on some level. It’s one thing to empower your child and respect their choices by letting them pick out their own outfit. It’s another issue entirely not to offer them some advice when you know the possible negative attitudes that some people might have in your local area.

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Or, to put it bluntly: even in the most progressive places on the planet, you’ll still find that some kids and adults are mean to anyone who’s even slightly different than everyone else. It’s human nature to judge others. Self-expression and identity are very important, but you also have to weigh that against the safety of your child.

In an ideal world, your kid would be accepted by all of their classmates no matter what they wear. But we don’t live in an ideal world. Wishing that bullying didn’t exist doesn’t mean that it’ll go away on its own. So, it falls to parents to prepare their kids for the possibility that some of their classmates might say or do mean things.

Kids need to know that their parents are there to support them, no matter what

One redditor had a very nuanced take on the situation. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a boy wearing a dress, and neither do you, which is great, but you should have realized that letting him walk into school like that was a recipe for disaster,” u/CassowaryCrow wrote.

“Most people do not think a guy should wear a dress, and that includes little kids, who can and will be cruel. Hopefully, the other kids will forget about it in a month or so, but for now, your son is going to face some taunting when he gets to school.”

Many schools want to be inclusive and protect their students, so they create policies to stop bullying and teach everyone to be more tolerant of others’ choices. While this does work to a certain extent, some students simply become more subtle in how they bully others. Or they learn to cover their tracks better.

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For some bullies, lashing out at others is a way to feel better about themselves and the events going on in their lives. Others might bully their fellow students as a way to reclaim control that they’ve lost at home or in class. Some kids might want to hurt their classmates in a way that they themselves have been hurt.

While many people can empathize with these situations, it still doesn’t excuse bullying. It should not happen. Period. But so long as it does, it falls to adults to step in instead of ignoring the situation or avoiding responsibility.

Teachers ought to protect their students as best as they can. Meanwhile, parents ought to talk to their children about building up some confidence and emotional resilience while also stressing the importance of being proud of who they are.

It’s vital that your kids know that you are there to support them and that you’ll always hear them out, no matter what.

Various internet users had very different takes on the situation. Some folks were fully on the dad’s side

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However, many others thought that the dad could have handled everything in a more delicate manner

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generally_happy avatar
similarly
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sorry, but at school, it's the teachers' job and the schools job to prevent bullying. If a boy wants to wear a dress, let them. I thought we were past all this. This is a teaching moment to say to kids "Hey, hey, hey. There are no "girls' clothes" or "boys' clothes". The clothing police no longer arrest people for wearing the "wrong" clothes. It's a new world and people can wear what they want. Let's move on.

patriciaross avatar
tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was bullied at school. Sometimes the teachers caught it and stopped it. Most times, the bullies picked their moments so they wouldn't get caught. If you send a 2nd grade boy to school in a dress, bad things will happen. They just will.

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lixonom515 avatar
Beck
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This makes me sad :( on one hand, the kid should be able to wear whatever makes him happy, but on the other hand, kids can be pretty mean. I’m not sure what I would have done if I was the parent in this circumstance, it’s like being caught between wanting to let your child grow up being himself confidently and also wanting to protect him from bullying and harassment. Rock and a hard place :( hope the kid’s okay

stephyg1980 avatar
Ms.GB
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah that's a tough one. I tend to agree that he should have taken the time to explain that some of his classmates have not been raised to understand that boys can wear dresses too and they may say mean things and poke fun at him then let him decide what he wants to do.

Load More Replies...
cinderpeltyth avatar
me myself and i READ BIO AGAIN
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Goddamnit, it’s 2024. Teach your kids basic decency like not freaking bullying people for appearing different from the rest of the group.

Load More Comments
generally_happy avatar
similarly
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sorry, but at school, it's the teachers' job and the schools job to prevent bullying. If a boy wants to wear a dress, let them. I thought we were past all this. This is a teaching moment to say to kids "Hey, hey, hey. There are no "girls' clothes" or "boys' clothes". The clothing police no longer arrest people for wearing the "wrong" clothes. It's a new world and people can wear what they want. Let's move on.

patriciaross avatar
tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was bullied at school. Sometimes the teachers caught it and stopped it. Most times, the bullies picked their moments so they wouldn't get caught. If you send a 2nd grade boy to school in a dress, bad things will happen. They just will.

Load More Replies...
lixonom515 avatar
Beck
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This makes me sad :( on one hand, the kid should be able to wear whatever makes him happy, but on the other hand, kids can be pretty mean. I’m not sure what I would have done if I was the parent in this circumstance, it’s like being caught between wanting to let your child grow up being himself confidently and also wanting to protect him from bullying and harassment. Rock and a hard place :( hope the kid’s okay

stephyg1980 avatar
Ms.GB
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah that's a tough one. I tend to agree that he should have taken the time to explain that some of his classmates have not been raised to understand that boys can wear dresses too and they may say mean things and poke fun at him then let him decide what he wants to do.

Load More Replies...
cinderpeltyth avatar
me myself and i READ BIO AGAIN
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Goddamnit, it’s 2024. Teach your kids basic decency like not freaking bullying people for appearing different from the rest of the group.

Load More Comments
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