Mom: R.I. School Bans 8-Year-Old Son's Patriotic Hat With Army Figures

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A Rhode Island mother says her 8-year-old son's school would not let him wear a patriotic hat she says he designed for a project to honor Army troops because the school thought it was  inappropriate.

Christan Morales says her son David was assigned to make a crazy hat for his second grade class at the Tiogue School in Coventry, R.I. Morales said her son came up with an idea to glue small plastic Army figures to a camouflage hat with an American flag.

Morales said the principal at David's school called her to say the hat wasn't appropriate because it had guns, which violated a school ban on weapons and toy weapons.

“We don’t advocate having any concept of weapons in the school,” Kenneth DiPietro, superintendent of Coventry Public Schools, told

“(David’s) military theme was all welcomed. The only issue was the weapons displayed on the hat.”

DiPietro said the intent of the principal was to allow the child the full expression of depicting the theme, but to help him find a way to express it without the presentation of weapons. He said the principal decided there were alternative ways to represent his theme.

“The principal’s concern was not the theme, not the patriotism and not the soldiers,” said DiPietro. “She worked with family to come up with alternatives so the child’s rights and patriotism was protected.”

Christan Morales has not returned’s request for comment.

After the incident, David’s father requested a copy of Coventry Public Schools’ zero-tolerance policy for weapons and depictions of weapons, DiPietro said.

DiPietro said the school hopes to learn from this incident and spend time deciding whether there should be a different strategy for handling such issues in the future.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.