T-shirts printed with the face of a student who died from cancer: a fitting tribute for classmates to wear, or something that causes grief and should be banned to “protect the interests of all children”?
Administrators at the Lakeview Middle School in Michigan asked at least a dozen students on Monday who wore shirts featuring the name of 12-year-old Caitlyn Jackson, who died Saturday after a long battle with leukemia, to turn them inside out or duct-tape the girl's name, the Battle Creek Enquirer reports.
The school reversed the decision the following day.
“That hurt me to the point that I didn’t think I could be hurt anymore,” said Caitlyn’s mother, Melinda Jackson.
Amy Jones, a Lakeview finance director temporarily serving as the district’s leader, said the school decided to ban the shirts after reviewing its “crisis management plan” that is “based on a lot of research and expert opinion.”
Jones told the Battle Creek Enquirer that the plan bars memorials that can remind students of their grief and possibly make it worse for others.
“The intent was designed to protect the interests of all children,” she said.
The district met with Jackson’s family Monday and then decided to reverse the ban, Fox 17 reports.
“During this time of grief, we sincerely regret that our actions caused additional stress for Caitlyn’s family and friends,” read a post on the district’s Facebook page . “Today we heard from students and families the need to allow students to continue showing their support of Caitlyn under these special circumstances by wearing shirts bearing her name.”