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'Boys can wear pink': Arthur, six, enjoying ballet classes in his hoodie

"You can wear any colour you want’’ - that’s the message from six-year-old Arthur Smith, who was teased for wearing pink and attending a dance class. 
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Arthur, 6 says anyone can wear a colour of their choice, after being bullied for wearing pink and taking dance lessons

Arthur, from Crowland, has been attending the iDance Studio in Thorney for the last three years and occasionally likes to wear his pink hoodie. 

But when he opted to wear it to South View Primary School he was picked on by some of his friends and classmates, who said that wearing pink and taking dance lessons was something "boys don't do".

Since the incident his mum, Becky, and the school have had a chat with Arthur and his schoolmates to help them understand that anybody can wear any colour. She says this has definitely made a positive difference. 

Speaking to Peterborough Matters, Arthur said: "I am Arthur, I am six years old and I have been dancing for three years. I do ballet, Acro [a style that combines dance and athletics] and street dance.

"People teased me saying boys can’t wear pink. It made me feel a bit sad. But my teacher talked about it to my friends. She said boys are allowed to wear what they want - there's no boy colour or girl colour. It made me a little happier. 

"My dance teacher Becky is lovely and she never treats me any different to the girls or anyone else."

Arthur’s mum talked about the incident which left her six-year-old in tears, saying that education was key to making a difference.

She said: "He wanted to wear a pink hoodie to dance, to be different, but this time he wore it to school and his friends laughed at him.

"He came back home and got very upset. He was told ‘boys don’t wear pink and don’t dance’ and boys don’t do ballet. It did upset me when he was saying he had a hard day. So I thought this is not right and not fair. It got to me and we went to school. 

"The teachers had a chat with the kids and asked them questions like 'do you play with cars or dolls?' or 'what’s your favourite colour?' and things like that. And then told them everyone is different and that you can like whatever colour you want. You could see the difference in Arthur straight away after that. When he came back this time, he said everybody was very nice to him and he came back quite happy from school. So yes, it was a positive result. 

"It’s very important to educate children that everyone is different. But maybe, because he was so young, it was a bit easier to explain things. If he was older, like 15 or 16, it could have been a different story, maybe, unfortunately. So, it’s important to talk about inclusion. 

"Going forward he wants to become a dancer and earn a lot of money. He says, 'I am a boy and if I can do ballet and I'll make a lot of money'."

The school said it wants "to be a happy place" for its pupils. South View Primary School head Joanne Tomlin said: "At South View, we want our school to be a safe and happy place for all pupils.

"Whenever we become aware of a situation like this, our trained learning mentor spends a lot of time speaking to the children involved, exploring why they behaved as they did and encouraging them to see things from the other person's perspective.

"We also have a robust PSHE [Personal, Social, Health and Economic] programme that encourages the children to celebrate differences, inspiring them to treat each other with respect. We're delighted that Arthur and his family feel they have been well supported, and that he has had no further negative experiences.”