HOWARD, Ohio (WJW) – Parents of an 8-year-old boy say they are trying to find out how their son became a topic of discussion at a recent East Knox Local School District Board of Education meeting.
The boy’s dad and stepmother talked to the FOX 8 I-Team saying the 8 -year-old, a second grader, wore a dress to school three times this school year. They said the teacher did not notify them that there was a problem, so they were shocked when they read an online article stating their son was the topic of comments at the public meeting.
“It felt like a little bit of an ambush situation,” the boy’s father told us. “We had no idea he was going to be talked about at that meeting. And we have no idea how adults that don’t even live in our district found out about our son.”
The couple asked us not to identify them to help protect their son’s identity.
“He doesn’t want this; he wants to be left alone,” the boy’s father said. “And adults are speaking out against what we are choosing to let our son express saying it is an abomination of God.”
The boy’s stepmother said some of the adults called the child’s behavior “demonic in nature.” She said they have been harassed online.
“He hasn’t received any bullying from the children at all,” his stepmother said.
She said he wanted to wear a dress because he thought it was comfortable and liked the designs on the one fabric.
“The one he ended up wearing to school had black cats on it,” his dad said, showing us a picture.
He added the dress met the dress code requirements.
“He has no confusion,” the father said. “He is not trying to use other bathrooms, he wants to live his life the way he is now, which is a rambunctious boy, who sometimes, likes to twirl around and have something spinning while he twirls.”
East Knox Schools Superintendent Steve Larcomb said there are no plans right now to make any changes to the dress code.
“School district officials do not discuss students with anyone other than their parent(s) or legal guardian,” Larcomb said. “The Administration annually presents the upcoming school year’s Parent-Student Handbook in June or July. There has been no agenda item regarding the dress code since last summer when the handbooks were presented to the Board with subsequent unanimous approval. The only discussion that may occur regarding the dress code at our February Board meeting would come from individuals seeking their three minutes of fame during the public participation portion of the meeting.”
The boy’s parents said they plan to attend the meeting next week so they can defend their son if the topic is brought up.