Mum’s anger at ban on son’s dress

Georgina Clarke with son Romeo, five
Georgina Clarke with son Romeo, five

A little boy has been told he is not welcome to a church playgroup until he stops wearing a princess dress.

Rugby mum Georgina Clarke said she is heartbroken five-year-old Romeo can’t wear what he wants.

He has been attending Rugby Christian Fellowship’s Buzz Children’s Club since September.

“He’s been told he can’t go until he stops wearing the princess dress,” said Georgina, of Cambridge Street.

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

Georgina, who is also mother to daughters Kayla, 19, Amber, 18, and Keisha, 12, said she was stunned when she was told Romeo should change his clothes.

She added: “I was shocked and surprised.

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

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

Georgina said she spoke to three parents who have children who attend Buzz, in Cambridge Street, where Romeo played on Wednesdays after school.

“I asked them if Romeo wearing the dress concerned them or their children in any way and they all said ‘no’.

“Why does the gender matter? Romeo keeps asking when he is going back and I don’t know what to say. He’s going to be so upset, he loves going to play there.”

Romeo’s dad, Winston, said: 
“I don’t care if he wears the dress. He can be whatever he wants to be.

“I’m not happy with the way the whole thing has been dealt with.

“We feel like he’s been singled out and he definitely won’t be going back.”

But Bex Venables, Minister in Training (children’s and community worker) of the Rugby Christian Fellowship, said: “The information Georgina Clarke has put forward is incorrect.

“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.”