An Oregon middle school cracked down last week on a student who showed up in a battlefield cross T-shirt that said, “Standing for those who stood for us.”
Eighth-grader Alan Holmes’ T-shirt imagery of a rifle, helmet and boots denoting loss may have symbolized patriotism to him, but not to administrators at Dexter McCarty Middle School in Gresham who demanded the boy change his shirt and then suspended him when he refused.
“I’m not changing into a Dexter shirt,” the 13-year-old told Fox 12. “They won’t let me wear a shirt that supports the people that keep us free, I’m not going to support them.”
The showdown with the principal over Alan's T-shirt took place Wednesday while emotions were still roiling in the state over the mass shooting at Umqua Community College that left a teacher and eight students dead.
School officials handed down the suspension and then called the boy’s father to come pick him up.
“I was nervous and kind of heartbroken because I feel like I should be able to support the troops that have died for us,” Alan told the station.
Charles Holmes said his son only wanted to show support for his older brother who served in Iraq with the Marines.
“Yeah, I’m proud of him,” he said. “I would have done the same thing.”
Fox 12 reported that school officials weren’t commenting on the suspension.
A school district spokeswoman told KGW-TV that “we have a policy on student dress and grooming. Weapons on a shirt are not appropriate in a school setting.”