Published August 23, 2012
An Oklahoma City student was forced to turn his shirt inside-out because he was wearing a University of Michigan T-shirt, violating the district’s dress code.
Fox 25 reports that the 5-year-old kindergartner violated a 2005 rule created by the Oklahoma City Public Schools banning clothing with sports team logos unless they are from Oklahoma colleges or universities. The rule, which was established due to gang affiliations some teams carry, excludes all professional teams, including the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"If it's not offensive, I think they should wear what they want to wear," said Shannon Barton, the student’s mother.
Several parents told Fox 25 they think the rule is ridiculous, saying it’s especially harsh at the kindergarten level due to the likelihood of gang activity at that age.
"I don't think wearing different team shirt is going to disrupt class or something any more than an OU or OSU shirt would," one mother told the station.
OKCPS Superintendent Karl Springer said the district will determine if the rule is outdated.
“In cooperation with the Oklahoma City Police Department Gang Task Force, the policy was approved in 2005 after concerns that nationwide gangs used popular sports clothing to represent individual gangs,” the statement reads. “As when any policy is questioned, OKCPS administration will review the policy to determine if changes need to be made.”