Prudish High School Bans A Student From Dressing As Condom Superhero Because Sexual Education Is Scary
In more news of administrators with their heads buried in the sand, a high school senior has been banned from wearing a Trojan Man costume he made for a school-wide character day. Granted, he must have known it might get him in hot water with school officials but he decided to go through with it anyway. I guess the school is cool with pretending that the idea of a condom is somehow inappropriate for teenagers. It is maddening that the school has a problem with a senior dressing as condom superhero Trojan Man as though it’s going to harm anyone.
Jack Englund is a student at Dr. Phillips High School. According to The Orlando Sentinel, he was trying to bring a message of safe sex to his peers with his fun costume. Despite his innocent intention, his first period teacher sent him to the Dean’s office where he was banned from wearing the costume:
But Jack, a 17-year-old tuba player in the school’s performing-arts magnet, said he didn’t consider the costume inappropriate.
“I don’t see how my piece of cardboard and cape are any more distracting” than costumes such as Mario, Luigi and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles worn by other students, he said. Students dress up during Spirit Week activities that precede homecoming.
The principal did not respond to a request for comment, but district spokeswoman Kathy Marsh said school officials may prevent students from wearing anything that may “cause an undue disruption to the normal order of classroom business.” Sexual wording and graphics are also banned under the student dress code.
I understand banning sexual wording and graphics but I hardly think a condom wrapper constitutes sexual wording. I admire the point Jack was trying to make and I think it’s sad that the school did not think high school students should be exposed to his costume. It’s not like he came dressed as a giant penis- he was just trying to make a light-hearted joke about safe sex in an environment where the normalizing of birth control and STD protection should be acceptable and even welcome. If these students attend health class and receive sexual education, then the sight of a condom should not be any shock to them at all. I wonder if the school realizes that by forcing Jack to take off the costume all they’ve done is draw even more attention to it?
If Jack were my son, I would be oddly proud of him. I see what some teenage boys want to dress up as for Halloween and instead of being something disgusting and gory he was something that could serve as a springboard for a bigger conversation among his peers. By putting the idea of safe sex right in front of them, it makes it feel more normal and acceptable. The article states that his mother is a lawyer and she comments that although they have no plans to sue, she does not understand why the school had a problem with it when most of these students are heading to college soon and have likely been exposed to things much more scandalous just by watching TV. I agree with her wholeheartedly. For Jack’s part, he states that all he wants is an apology and I don’t blame him. This whole thing was definitely overblown. I hope these administrators pull their heads out of their asses and make it right with this thoughtful and intelligent young man.