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Cross-Dress Tradition A Real Drag

A homecoming tradition in which boys dress like girls and vice versa in a tiny Texas school district won't be held Wednesday after a parent complained about what she regarded as the event's homosexual overtones.

As a substitute for "TWIRP Day," the two schools, an elementary and high school, decided to hold "Camo Day" — with black boots and Army camouflage to be worn by everyone who wants to participate.

The Grades 7-12 Spurger High School has about 185 students, the Spurger Elementary School, 274.

TWIRP, which stands for "The Woman Is Requested to Pay," was hosted by Spurger schools for years during Homecoming Week — to give boys and girls a chance to reverse social roles and let older girls invite boys on dates, open doors and pay for sodas.

Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute issued a news release Tuesday reporting that it "came to the aid of a concerned parent" over an "official cross-dressing day" in the school district 150 miles northeast of Houston.

"It is outrageous that a school in a small town in east Texas would encourage their 4-year-olds to be cross-dressers," Liberty Legal Institute attorney Hiram Sasser said in the release

Tanner T. Hunt Jr., the school district's attorney, called Sasser's statement "inflammatory and misleading." He said the district never planned or conducted a "cross-dressing day."

"They are a tiny little East Texas school district," Hunt said. "It never occurred to them that anyone could find anything morally reprehensible about TWIRP Day. I mean, they've been having it for years, probably for generations, and it's the first time anybody has complained."

Delana Davies, 33, said she complained after reading a school notice about "TWIRP Day." Davies, whose 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter attend Spurger Elementary, said she viewed the day not as a silly Homecoming Week activity, but rather something related to homosexuality.

"It's like experimenting with drugs," Davies said. "You just keep playing with it and it becomes customary. ... If it's OK to dress like a girl today, then why is it not OK in the future?"