An elementary school in Burlington County, NJ is under fire after ordering boys to dress up in female clothing to celebrate women's history month.
The activity was eventually cancelled after a number of parents complained to the Maple Shade School District.
The cross-dressing day at Maude Wilkins Elementary School was scheduled for April 16th, which happens to be the national "Day of Silence," created by a gay advocacy group to bring awareness to anti-bullying efforts.
"All students must participate in the activity," stated a note that was sent home to students and eventually published online. "If your child is a young man, he does not have to wear a dress or skirt, as there are many time periods where women wore pants or trousers."
Some parents, like Janine Patterson Giandomenico, were outraged.
"Asking my nine year old son to dress like a woman in a school fashion show in front of his peers is crossing the line for me," she wrote on her Facebook page. "How is dressing like a woman from any era going to teach him about history?"
"I resent the fact that the Maple Shade School District is telling me that he and I have no choice," she wrote.
Superintendent Michael Livengood told me the event was cancelled because it "caused quite a bit of controversy."
"I wish that initial letter had been worded differently," he said. "That was the mistake in the whole process."
Livengood said it was never the principal's intent for the boys to wear skirts. "I understand both sides when you read the letter," he said. "It does say everyone must participate. It does say everyone must wear women's clothing - but that was not the intent."
Livengood said no one at the school is in trouble - although he said he probably will remind teachers to be careful how future letters are worded.
As for the cross-dressing event being scheduled on the same day as the "Day of Silence," Livengood said it was "purely coincidental."