Jonathan Escobar is the kind of kids who stands out from the crowd, especially when he wears his pink wig. Escobar prefers to wear wigs, makeup, and feminine-style clothing, a style choice that’s gotten him in trouble at school.
For his first day of school at North Cobb High School in Georgia, Escobar chose a pink wig, skinny jeans, and flats. Everything went smoothly until lunchtime when a fight broke out. Someone said something mean about Escobar and another student came to his defense.
That’s when the assistant principal told Escobar that he needed to either dress more “manly” or be schooled at home. “You can’t wear clothing that causes a disruption,” Cobb Country school spokesman told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
Escobar left his formal high school not because the school had a problem with his fashion choices, but because his parents did. He now lives with his older sister and was careful to ask school administrators before he started if he could wear heels and wigs to school. They said yes.
“I don’t consider myself a cross-dresser,” says Escobar. “This is just who I am….They should’ve told the students to back off. They should have never given me the option of homeschooling or changing who I am.”
Escobar left North Cobb after just three days, but since then over 900 students have rallied to his defense, even creating a Facebook group called Support Jonathan. And despite the school’s warning, Escobar won’t be taking off his wig anytime soon.
“If I can’t express myself, I won’t go to school,” he said. “I want to get the message out there that because this is who I am, I can’t get an education.”
Seems like this situation would have been better handled by administrators with a heavy dose of eye-rolling and a little patience. Sure, teens get distracted by the kid who stands-out, but given time the excitement usually wears off.
What do you think: Should Escobar be able to wear what he wants, or do you defend the administration’s right to tell him to dress like a man?
Photo: ajc.com, AP