UK: 5-year-old boy banned from after-school club because he wears dresses

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A five-year-old boy has been banned from a church run after-school club, because he likes to dress up as a princess.

Romeo Clarke, who attends St Marie’s Catholic Primary School in Rugby, has been banned from the Christian Fellowship’s Buzz Children’s Club, over concerns he would ‘confuse’ the other children.

His mother, Georgina Clarke, said: “His favourite film is Frozen and loves acting out the role of the princesses with his sisters.

“Wearing the dress is his choice and if wearing it makes him happy it’s fine with me.

“He’s a normal tom-boy who, because he has three big sisters, likes wearing dresses. I’m proud he is so free and comfortable with himself.”

Clarke said that she had put in a complaint, after the club stopped him from attending three weeks ago.

She added: “I was so cross when I was told he couldn’t wear dresses that I was speechless. All I could ask was ‘why?’.

“The leader, who is a really lovely lady, said she didn’t think it was appropriate he wore the dress.

“She took to me to one side after I dropped him off and said ‘Romeo will be welcome back when he wears clothes which match his gender’.

“She said it was upsetting and confusing the other children.

“Romeo keeps asking when he is going back and I don’t know what to say. He is going to be so upset he loves going to play there.”

Bex Venables, the Minister-in-Training at the Rugby Christian Fellowship,said: “Georgina’s son is still allowed to attend Buzz Children’s Club but has been asked to wear clothing of the gender stated on his registration form, which states male.

“This request is no different from what is asked by his school, where he wears a boy’s uniform.

“Buzz Children’s Club seeks to follow our usual safeguarding guidelines and we did so in this case in order to avoid any confusion or possible conflict or teasing from other children.”