Battle Ground school holds ‘gender defender’ day

School district spokesman said event's name was inaccurate

A Battle Ground Middle School hosted "gender defender" day, but a school district spokesman said the name was misleading. March 19, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
A Battle Ground Middle School hosted "gender defender" day, but a school district spokesman said the name was misleading. March 19, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Thursday was “gender defender” day at a Battle Ground middle school, and some parents weren’t happy about it.

Lorelei Hunsaker, 11, showed up at Chief Umtuch Middle School dressed in protest of gender defender day. She said the day was designated for girls to wear pink and boys to wear blue —  and she believes that reinforces outdated stereotypes of what boys and girls should aspire to be when they are older.

“It’s a gender neutral school and it’s pretty good about these things,” Lorelei told KOIN 6 News. “It’s just that this day is sexist and I’m not okay with sexism.”

A school district spokesman said boys wore pink and girls wore blue during the event. (KOIN 6 News)
A school district spokesman said boys wore pink and girls wore blue during the event. (KOIN 6 News)

Lorelei decided against wearing pink or blue, instead she wore dark clothing in protest.

For the 11-year-old’s mother, it goes beyond pink and blue clothes. She is part of a nontraditional family in which she is the main bread winner. Her husband cares for their kids, and gender identification may not fall along traditional lines in their household.

“Why would you even have a gender-oriented event to show school spirit?” Lorelei’s mother, Andrea Isom, asked. “Why does gender matter when it comes to being a good student?”

KOIN 6 News took her questions to Battle Ground School District Spokesman Sean Chavez. He said, he doesn’t believe the name “gender defender” was an accurate title for the event.

“I don’t think it is, I think it’s misinformation out there about what they’re really talking about,” Chavez said.

Chavez explained that the event focused on removing barriers and inspiring kids to do anything they want in life — without limiting their aspirations because of gender.

As for the colored clothing, Chavez said some girls wore blue and some boys wore pink. A male choir teacher wore pink, all in the name of doing away with old stereotypes and allowing young men and women to follow their dreams.

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