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Oklahoma City Dress Code Will Not Tolerate Kindergartner's U. of Michigan T-Shirt

Why? Why do schools have to mess with the sports team allegiances of 5-year-olds? First it was the kindergarten teacher of young Emma Barton of Olathe, Kan., who demanded that Emma color in a picture of the University of Kansas' Jayhawk mascot. As you may recall, Emma, a die-hard Kansas State fan, took the Jayhawk and threw it in the trash, sparking threats of a visit to the principal's office and other kindergarten turmoil that promptly went viral on the front-page of Yahoo! and elsewhere.

Last week, 5-year-old Cooper Barton of Oklahoma City proudly went to school wearing a University of Michigan T-shirt. Cooper and his parents are all die-hard University of Michigan fans. Oklahoma News9 reports that the principal at Cooper's school told Cooper to turn his T-shirt inside-out, because the city's dress code specifically states that children may only wear apparel supporting Oklahoma colleges, such as Oklahoma University or Oklahoma State University. "Clothes from all other schools are against current policy," News9 reports.

The policy, approved in 2005, also prohibits kids from wearing any professional team apparel.* While this probably was not much of an issue in 2005, today it bars kids from wearing apparel supporting the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008. [*Note: By my calculations, such a dress code in my family's school district would wipe out 99 percent of my 5-year-old's school clothes.]

Cooper's mother, Shannon, said Cooper ended up having to hide behind a tree to turn his shirt inside-out, and that he was embarrassed by the incident. "They should really worry about academics. It wasn't offensive. He's five," she said.

A spokesperson for the school district acknowledged that the policy might be "outdated." The Oklahoma City School Superintendent stated Monday that the T-shirt incident with Cooper Barton "presented an opportunity to review the current OKCPS District Dress Code Policy that has been in place since 2005." The policy was "approved in 2005 after concerns that nationwide gangs used popular sports clothing to represent individual gangs."

Posted by Bruce Carton on August 22, 2012 at 04:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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