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California school orders student to remove NRA shirt

Officials at an Orange County high school apologized Thursday to a 16-year-old student who was forced to take off a National Rifle Association shirt or face disciplinary action.

Staff at Canyon High School in Anaheim changed course after demanding that Haley Bullwinkle put on a different shirt after she recently wore the NRA shirt to school, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The shirt, which was given to the girl's father when he joined the NRA, had an American flag and a silhouette of a hunter with a rifle and the slogan: "National Rifle Association of America, Protecting America's Traditions Since 1871."

The school's dress code prohibits clothing that promotes or depicts violence, criminal activity and anything that is degrading to ethnic values.

Bullwinkle complied and changed into a school shirt but went home confused and frightened, feeling that her First Amendment rights were being violated.

"I want to be able to wear what I want to wear within reason," she said.

Her parents wrote to the school's principal who responded by sending them the school's policy on clothing that depicts violence.

School officials, however, determined the shirt's images didn't promote violence after a review. They said campus staff will receive training so that "an incident like this does not occur again."

The high school was in the news last year for its "Seniores and SeƱoritas" events where students dressed as gang members and a pregnant woman pushing a baby stroller.

School officials have since canceled the events after determining that the activities were demeaning toward Latinos and their culture.

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