IOWA, LA (KPLC) - With homecoming season upon us, students across Calcasieu Parish are getting excited. Many have “spirit weeks” where each day of the week has an optional theme.
Iowa Middle and High School, who share a campus, are sharing a spirit week this week, and Monday’s theme seemed to have caused concern for some Iowa parents. Monday was “stoplight day”, where students wore green, yellow, or red to signify their relationship status.
“Kids should be kids. Sure, some middle school kids are going to have boyfriends and girlfriends and crushes, but I don’t think we need the school to play matchmaker for a 10 to 14-year-old,” one Iowa Middle School parent, M.J. Mouton, said.
Green meant you’re single, yellow meant “it’s complicated” and red indicated you were taken.
Mouton said this theme could open students up to bullying at school, depending on whether or not they have a significant other. He was so concerned, he took his opinion on the stoplight-themed day online saying “My daughter’s school has dress up week. Monday is... Wear Red if you are taken. Wear Green if you are single. Wear Yellow if it is complicated. She is in middle school. Totally inappropriate. Welcome to Louisiana.”, where it has almost 20,000 shares and thousands of comments agreeing with him.
“Middle school kids are in an extremely vulnerable state—dealing with peer pressure, making friends, typical school stresses. I would encourage the school to have fun days, free dress days, but most importantly, think ahead about how these things they implement affect the emotional state of kids,” Mouton said.
Mouton wasn’t the only Iowa parent that disagreed with the theme being implemented at the middle school.
“Being that I do have a child in high school, I mean, he does have a girlfriend, so, to me, I was okay with it. But thinking middle school, to me, that’s kind of young, and they really don’t know anything about relationships and stuff. So, I mean, I don’t think my child would’ve done it if he were in middle school,” Doneka Dugas, an Iowa High School mom, said.
When we reached out to the Calcasieu Parish School Board, they did not have a comment about the matter because they said it had been handled at the school level.
Mouton said when he talked with school administration, it was too late to change the school’s theme. He said the school told him they have plans in place for next year to ensure this doesn’t happen again.