The Associated Press
A teen-age boy got into trouble at his high school after wearing a Halloween costume resembling a vagina.
Christian Silbereis” classmates at Community High School apparently were less offended by the costume, which was fashioned from a pink cape, than the school administrators who suspended him Wednesday for the rest of the week.
The outfit took first place at the school”s costume contest, where students selected the winners.
“It”s anatomically correct,” Silbereis told The Ann Arbor News, lifting up the cape to reveal a T-shirt bearing a rendering of a fetus.
The 17-year-old senior said he feels bad if the costume offended anyone but wondered why it would.
“It”s just another body part,” he said. “They teach us about it in school.”
Silbereis said his mother, Rosalyn Tulip, a midwife, created the costume last year and wore it to a party. When Silbereis asked if he could wear the outfit to school Wednesday, Tulip cautioned him that it might make some people uncomfortable.
She also, however, said she would support such a decision because it is a positive way for people to talk about their bodies, Tulip said.
“It”s not about me being a pervert” or trying to make people angry, Silbereis said, adding that he respects women and their bodies.
Miriam Shabazz, 16, a junior at the high school, criticized the suspension.
“There”s nothing inappropriate about what”s given all of us life,” she said.
Maggie Jewett, the school”s assistant dean, said staff members were outraged at the costume and felt demeaned by it.
Silbereis said he took off the costume in his fourth hour of classes after Jewett came into his class and told him to either remove it or go home. He pulled it back on, however, for the contest and received wild applause from students who declared him the winner.
“If I won, that means most of the school was down with it,” he said.
After the contest, Jewett told Silbereis that he was suspended for the rest of the week, he said.
Jewett declined to comment further to the newspaper, saying student disciplinary action is confidential. The school referred a call yesterday about the matter to school district spokeswoman Deborah Small, who did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
Tulip said she is proud of her son but feels that he shouldn”t have put the costume back on after agreeing to remove it. She also doesn”t question the school”s decision to suspend her son and has no plans to fight it.