in , ,

Teacher Demands Male Student Cover Up Leotard Halloween Costume, But Not Female Students

Mike Harrington/Getty Images

We all should be able to agree that dress codes for children are concerning and packed with double-standards.

That unfortunately is still true when children have the opportunity to dress up for Halloween at school, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor JustALeotard was furious when their six-year-old son’s teacher called them, asking them to bring pants to the school.

But when they found out the teacher’s reason why, the Original Poster (OP) was furious.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for refusing to give my son pants?”

The OP received a surprising call from their son’s school.

“Today kids can wear their costumes to school. My son’s costume includes a leotard. I got a call around ten asking me to bring in pants for my son.”

“I was really annoyed because I was at work, but I went home and grabbed some.”

“I got to the classroom, and there were SO MANY kids wearing leotards. Not the majority or anything, but a fair number of girls were wearing costumes that had leotards.”

The OP was furious about the teacher’s reasoning.

“I went up to the teacher and asked what the issue was. She said it wasn’t appropriate.”

“I pointed out all the girls with leotards, and she said that was fine.”

“I said that if it’s fine for them, then it’s fine for him. If there’s a rule (and no leotards weren’t on the guidelines) it needs to be enforced equally.”

“She said I needed to change him or she was sending him to the office.”

The OP decided to stand up for her son’s costume.

“I went to the office myself and got the principal. She was really annoyed but eventually agreed to go with me to the classroom.”

“She looked at the costume and said, ‘It’s fine’ and then left. The teacher was clearly frustrated, and when I was leaving and thanked the principal she rolled her eyes at me.”

“When I got back to work I told a friend the story and she said I was a little over the top. She said the teacher was probably worried something would happen, but that’s stupid. If a rule exists, it needs to exist for everyone, not just boys.”

“Was I wrong for taking a stand?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some pointed out that there was nothing to “see” in a boy’s leotard.

“I have a 6-year-old boy.”

“It would be near impossible to see his ‘setup’ in a leotard and underwear, and the fact that it’s on the teacher’s mind at all let alone enough to make you bring clothes is weird to me.”

“I think I’d have a hard time moving on from this, honestly.” – tigm2161130

“My guess is the teacher was worried about the outlines of things. Which very much grosses me out. Leotard concerns happened at my friend’s kids’ elementary school and that was the reasoning. It’s very stupid at the least.”

“(I phrased that in a perhaps juvenile way, but I feel disgusting being more direct.)” – BendingCollegeGrad

“He is six!! The girls won’t notice an outline… the implications here are scary. Everyone caring about a child’s genitals.”

“It’s like how I stayed at my Grandma’s this weekend, and she thought it was inappropriate that my 12-year-old son slept in the same room as me. He is my child, for goodness sake!!” – nicunta

“‘She said the teacher was probably worried something would happen.'”

“Like what? The implication your friend is making here is weird. Like suuuuuper weird.”

“It’s a stupid double standard. NTA.” – FunkyOrangePenguin

“NTA. Fair is fair. If other kids are wearing leotards, why can’t your son?”

“I get the feeling that your son is young (elementary school)? So I am not sure why the teacher had a problem with your son’s costume.”

“You insisted that your son be treated just like the other people (girls) in his class – that is only fair. You’ve spent a day teaching your son and his classmates that fair is fair, in spite of gender.”

“Good for you!!!” – Huge_Industry_1259

“It sounds like the teacher was worried about the ‘bulge’ in your boy’s leotard. I remember having a six-year-old boy, and you’d have to look pretty hard and be kind of a perv to discern such a ‘bulge’.”

“My son wore (almost to tatters) a Superman costume I made for him. I got the leotard and top from a shop that sold dance costumes for little girls.”

“He never once did any weenie wagging whilst Superman. Now, the little Speedo he wore in the pool was a different matter.” – sowhat4

“Yeah, like, at six you don’t have a bulge… that would be like asking the girls to wear high-necked tops to cover their nonexistent cleavage…” – Anxious_Reporter_601

Others had equal issues with the OP’s friend as with the teacher. 

“I would not trust that friend around my son. To be honest, I wouldn’t trust that friend enough to call them a friend after that. It’s a huge red flag to sexualize a child like that.” – TooExtraUnicorn

“I would reconsider friendship with your friend and keep an eye on the teacher. She sounds quite disturbed.” – Small_Salamander_247

“‘Worried something would happen’? I’m assuming these kids are not teenagers. Like, they’re children.”

“What’s he gonna do? The most he’s gonna do is pick a wedgie that EVERYONE gets in leotards. They’re leotards. They’re also children.”

“NTA. And good for you for sticking up for him. If he wants to wear a leotard, he can. If he wants to be Elsa, he can. Who the hell cares?” – Daligheri

“Every male ballerina in the world has a bulge in their leotards. They’re exceptional athletes. Speaking of athletes, lots of Olympic athletes also wear tights. Gymnasts, runners, lots of them.”

“I have never watched any of them and thought it was sexual. And they’re grown adults with grown adult bulges.”

“This teacher is a creep.” – In_need_of_chocolate

“Consider a school wrestling team. They can be co-ed but are often all male. Those unitards/singlets look terrible on everyone.”

“If a female joins the male team it could be a title IX violation to have her put on something different because she is a girl. Do you require breast binding or a sports bra? What if this is a middle school team and an overweight boy has a larger chest than the girl, do we require him to breast bind of use a sports bra?”

“(I was 180 lbs on the middle school wrestling team, and I had larger breasts than the less than 120 lbs girl on the team. Also, I have large nipples, under a singlet, they are more visible than female nipples).”

“It might depend on the state but nut cups are always used in wrestling because it would be in the way of your agility.”

“Are male dancers making the choice to use a dance belt or are they required to when the females are not? If this is a public school dance team this might be a title IX violation to order one gender an agility inhibitor.”

“Or just go back to OP’s story and flip it. ‘The Male teacher called me to come to school to bring my 4th-grade daughter a bra because her bulges were a concern for him.’ You might consider that toxic masculinity or the teacher to be inappropriate.” – RyanWilliamsElection

“NTA. She’s not entitled to force you to take time off work to serve her whims.”

“I think whether the costume is okay is much more trivial than the fact that she demanded you come to school in the middle of the day over it. For some people that could get them fired. It’s not okay.”

“Calling parents into school is something you do if the child has done something very serious.” – TreatEntire6450

“Teacher interrupted you at work and TOLD you to get your son some pants because SHE was uncomfortable with in a leotard? WTF?”

“Based on the title, I thought I was going to be reading a post where the son asked for pants and you refused or something. But looks like the son was just fine with the leotard. The teacher is being an a**hole, and OP, NTA at all.” – EmeraldBlueZen

The subReddit completely understood why the OP was furious with the teacher, both for calling them out of work and for showing such double standards for their son over the girls in class.

They were also really concerned about the fixation the teacher and the OP’s friend showed about the OP’s son’s genitals. They found this to be both problematic and creepy, and they were concerned about the OP’s son spending too much time around either of these people.

Fortunately, the OP stood up for their son’s right to wear a leotard alongside the female students in his class, and the principal was willing to take their side on the matter, no matter how much it bothered the OP’s son’s teacher.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit