Letter to the Editor: Upcoming spirit week needs rethinking

Editor’s Note: This letter was submitted prior to ASB’s decision made on Friday to change next week’s spirit days. This letter was part of the testimony given to ASB during its Friday morning meeting. For more information about the change in spirit days, click here.

It has been made clear that there will be a “Battle of The Sexes” spirit week at our school and I have some very serious concerns about it.

 This spirit week excludes all genders other than “boy or girl,” and it was said by someone in ASB that they would “like boys to dress like preps and girls to dress like jocks, but you can dress any way you want. Same goes for Friday.” My main concern is what people who are non-binary, trans (or in the process of transitioning), intersex, etc. are supposed to do, not be able to participate because they do not identify as boy or girl?

As a school that says diversity and respect are very important, I’m confused on how this is supposed to make these students feel and why this would be okay. It is very hard for most people struggling with gender identity already, and I don’t understand why there is a spirit week basically dedicated to making them feel uncomfortable, out of place, and pressured to identifying as either boy or girl. This perpetuates the idea that gender is binary, which it is not, and also promotes gender stereotypes, which is just bad for everyone.

I’m aware that ASB most likely are not educated on things like this because most people aren’t, and that they never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable or excluded. However, hopefully they will understand how this is very offensive and problematic.

For a lot of people school is a safe haven where they can be who they really are and perhaps escape troubles at home and I think this spirit week is extremely unnecessary and is not making this school feel like a safe comfortable place for students of all genders or sexes.

There are plenty of alternative spirit week ideas that still consist of “this vs. this” that are gender neutral and not offensive, and with our ASB I’m sure they can think of more than enough possible spirit days other than the ones that are listed above the HUB.