Jessica Ellis
February 06, 2016 10:40 am

Sigh. In disheartening news out of Riverside County, a boy was told to remove his pretty awesome Disney costume during a school spirit week event where kids were supposed to dress like- guess what- Disney characters.

Austin Lacey, 13, with some confidence we really wish we had at that age, had decided to dress up as power-ballad singer Queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen for the Dress Like a Disney Character day at Ethan Chase Middle School in Menifee, CA. Other kids apparently loved the costume and asked Austin to pose for photos. Things were going great, or that is, they were until Austin was hauled into the principal’s office.

 

What happened then is somewhat unclear. In statements made to KTLA, Austin and his mother, Brooke Francev, claim that they were told the principal does not believe that “boys should dress like girls” or vice versa. In a statement made by school superintendent Dr. Julie Vitale, however, the district claims that “At no time was there an indication that the student was expressing any particular message. The Principal’s action was based upon the need to stop a general disruption to the school environment.”

Austin’s mom, naturally infuriated by this treatment, took to social media to plead her case:

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We have questions.

First of  all, exactly what do you  expect to happen when you ask kids to dress up as Disney characters? The implication is that as long as the character is Disney, they are fair game. Disney princess costumes are everywhere, and regardless of any gender identification or politics, it’s easy to understand how decking yourself out as Disney’s currently reigning leading lady is a no-brainer.

Second, if you are so desperately concerned about distractions in school, why are you hosting events where kids dress up in costumes? Those are naturally distractions- they’re meant to be!

Finally, if the issue really, really truly was kids taking too many pictures (we can’t imagine why, but okay, lets follow the logic) wouldn’t the solution be to ask them to stop taking pictures? Why is a kid following the rules of the event the one responsible for others feeling distracted? Somehow, we doubt this was the case, but even if the motivation was pure and free from all gender-identity-phobia, the reaction makes zero sense.

Austin bravely told KTLA, “I wore it for fun because I’m just one of those people, I like to go all out.” Keep on keepin’ on, Austin. One of these days we’ll have a society where it’s okay to truly Let It Go.

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