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Marines T-Shirt Ban: Illinois School Responds

marines t-shirt ban

A controversial Marines t-shirt ban in school has ruffled blogosphere feathers after parents of the student raised a ruckus, but the school has responded to the controversy after the dispute made national headlines and affirms the district fully supports the troops.

The Marines t-shirt ban was heavily reported as anti-US forces after parents of 14-year-old Michael McIntyre interpreted a ban on the garment as a negative judgment on Marines or public support of them.

The internet outrage machine quickly spun into a rage over the Marines t-shirt ban as the reasoning — that the shirt showed two interlocking rifles — seemed to be lost in the noise over a request deemed unfriendly to US armed forces.

Dad Daniel McIntyre, 44, complained to news outlets that his son’s Marines t-shirt ban was unfair, saying that, despite the restricted by dress code imagery, an exception should be made for the top. He said:

“My son is very proud of the Marines, and, in fact, of all the services. So he wears it with pride. There are two rifles crossed underneath the word ‘Marines’ on the shirt, but to me that should be overlooked. It’s more about the Marines instead of the rifles.”

While many would say of the Marines t-shirt ban that rules are rules and everyone should be subject to the same ones, McIntyre wanted an exception for his boy, adding:

“This is not right … This policy that they have in place can obviously be loosely interpreted, so they need to change it.”

It would seem the outcry worked. In a statement, the district of Genoa-Kingston said:

“The administration and school handbook agree that this shirt is not a violation of the dress code. We also take school safety very earnestly and it needs to be recognized that is a topic that we also take very seriously and support our students and staff in providing a safe environment to learn, teach and work in on a daily basis.”

Do you think the Marines t-shirt ban was reasonable, or was it unfair?

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79 Responses to “Marines T-Shirt Ban: Illinois School Responds”

  1. Jay Mei Cee

    If it were my son, I think I would just find the child a real Marines t-shirt without the gun on it? If it's just about showing support for the armed services, then just a plain Marines shirt should engender just as much pride. I've met and been friendly with a few Marines over the years, and none expressed any attitudes that aligned with that shirt. They weren't boastful or braggy. They just radiated a quiet strength and confidence. And excellent, gentlemanly manners, too. :)

  2. Dennis Flamm

    I've seen that t-shirt since 1981, I owned a shirt like that. It wasn't offensive then and it is not now. Semper Fi

  3. Travis Sartele

    Do not be ashamed of the Marines or the weapons that they carry! Semper Fi!

    A Marine Rifelmans Creed.

    This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

    My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…

    My rifle and I know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…

    My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…

    Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

    So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!

  4. Anonymous

    Maybe they should make a marine shirt with two interlocking flowers instead of the rifles, and maybe a peace symbol. Since we all know that they really use flowers in combat and not evil guns.

  5. Jim Mckiven

    It is the fact they would do it in the first place.The shirt supported a branch of U.S. military a rifle on the shirt is not a reason to ban it.People need to grow up and quit whining so much.

  6. Veronica Cross

    i agree with jim… its not being boastful or braggy… its called freedom…if u start with banning this… whats next the color red? look at this as pride that you can show it…

  7. John Long

    We know that all schools hate our military, this just proves it. But yet the allow the ROTC to have the non-firing weapons to drill with is ok, but someone wearing a shirt that suppose a branch of the military is a big no-no.

  8. Raymond Heywang

    @Jay….you obviously have never swerved in the U.S. Military. I am a proud Disabled Vet. of the U.S. Air Force. The crossed rifles on ANY military branches t-shirts show the tools that WE use to protect America and the freedoms that we as Americans have….including the freedom for morons like you to post sheer stupidity online. "I've met and ben friendly with a few Marines over the years"???? Bull****, if you had you would know better….

  9. Adam Hong

    Can I wear a tshirt with breasts and slap on a Susan G Komen cancer foundation ribbon going over the nipples? Is that inappropriate. Come on America stop being conservative hypocrites!

  10. Terry Dilmore

    The school's admin is most likely a guy/gal who dosen't appreciate that his/her freedom to work and teach was made by the Armed Forces of this great country. Maybe he/she should go teach in Syria a couple months. I bet the school admin wears Mickey Mouse T-shirts.

  11. Cordell Hunter

    We are becoming a country of rabbits. Where are the rugged principles we used to hold dear? Everyone living in fear like this is BS. If a teacher is afraid of guns, he/she should not be imposing this fear on her students. This is a huge problem we need to fix as quickly as possible. I am neither republican or democrat, I am AMERICAN. As a future army officer, I love my country, but I am disgusted with the direction in which we are heading.

  12. Richard Santo

    for a place of ""education"" they should re read the history books. but wait, if it werent for the army, navy , air force and MARINES thre might not be history books in ENGLISH…think about that…

  13. Timothy Sanderson

    if this was my sons school id go buy him 5 diff shirts and have him whear a new one every day of school schools more worried about this bs then actuly teaching our kids something useful.

  14. Richard Santo

    I find it surprising that a place of educantion would respond to a peice of apparel honoring not only the oldest branch of the military service but the most decorated branch of the military service. this not only insults marines of which I am one but all other members of the military service. if my child attended that school I'm sure he would share his opinions and ban together and protest by wearing their choice of a military tee shirt honoring the multiple branches of the armed forces.

  15. Thomas Mac Williams

    I would say that imagery can not hurt anyone as the two crossed rifles, similarly a child that makes a paper pistol can not hurt anyone with it, this stuff has gotten way ourt of hand. If the district doesn't want guns on campuses, then don't allow Guns on campus , but Imagery is a totally different item. and any one wearing a shirt supporting any armed service should not be harrassed by a teacher or anyone else. Bad Form I say on the Schools part. Semper Fi. MOLON LABE.

  16. Gone Nineteen

    I wonder how differently people would've reacted had a student who wore this shirt been involved in a school shooting, yet the school did nothing about him or her wearing the shirt. People would have flipped the eff out and blamed the school for "ignoring the signs" crap. I don't think it had anything to do with the school being anti-Marine. Wear the shirt in a more appropriate situation.

  17. Thomas Mac Williams

    i'm a conservative, asw far as i'm concerned you can wear any t-shirt you want . an image isn't gonna hurt anyone ya dig

  18. Rob McKinley

    The boy's tee-shirt had the word "Marines" & two crossed rifles on it NOT a skull & the other words displayed on it like this article's accompanying photograph implies. What's with the inflammatory picture?

  19. Greg Hurd

    As a Vietnam era vet + an educator, I can honestly say this is the first shirt I've seen of any of the branches that feature weapons. This is not issued by or for recruiters and more of a political statement. As an educator, I've seen countless times how a student will dress with double entendres, drugs, alcohol, and other questionable forms of expression. When confronted they'll say "It's the only shirt I have". In this case I think the kid and Dad want to see their names in the press and it looks like they have succeeded.

  20. William John Mendes

    Wear the shirt proudly….anyone that doesn't like it can kiss a sick monkey's wet ass.

  21. Anonymous

    From Lance Corporal to Gunnery Sergeant the insignia of rank in the USMC includes crossed rifles under the stripes. It's as natural and traditional as the EGA on the cover. If you find that offensive then you must also find my 27+ years as an Active Duty Marine offensive. Semper Fi, Marines.

  22. Anonymous

    From Lance Corporal to Gunnery Sergeant the insignia of rank in the USMC includes crossed rifles under the stripes. It's as natural and traditional as the EGA on the cover. If you find that offensive then you must also find my 27+ years as an Active Duty Marine offensive. Semper Fi, Marines.

  23. Faye Burgner

    Someone should point out to the school administration that a lot of Marines fought and died for their right to be that stupid.

  24. James Savik

    How typical of the douche puppet bureaucrats in education.

    If they can't make a screaming faggot or raging pussy, they want to kick you out.

  25. Dan Schofield

    Jay, People with GUNS protect you and yours. Your kid goes to a free school that was bought with guns, under a democratic system that was fought for. Never forget that violence created our country and the freedoms you have. The freedom to buy that shirt was bled for by people who you will never meet and will never ask you to repay the debt you owe.
    That is why it is called, SERVICE not the military job. Your rights were bought and paid for, and our current idiocy of violence in America has nothing to do with the Honor pride and dedication of those who served.
    As to the people you have met, they seem great I would love to meet them. But have you asked any of them whether that shirt was offensive? I don't know of any my colleagues who would.
    And if these thoughts don't get you, aren't you even a little bothered that someone you don't know or is related to you is telling your kid what is right or wrong? If you gave your kid a shirt and some stranger said NO that's wrong. wouldn't you say do your job and teach my kid I will worry about his moral upbringing.

  26. Anonymous

    Dan Schofield Blah Blah Blah. There are plenty of other ways then violence. Tell you the truth guns are cowardly. I like violence but guns are not to my liking. Rules are Rules no matter what they shouldn't make exceptions for Military, they wouldn't have made it for anything else.

  27. Anonymous

    Yes but in that case we would not have known the difference, anyway the history books aren't factual to the point, like how the native americans were already more than 95% wiped out when we fought them, or that Colombus was a cruel fiend cutting off peoples hands and raping women and selling them into slavery.

  28. Anonymous

    There Marines are there to keep the peace, not glorify war. I was one of them. T-Shirts like this are for chicken hawks. Anyone who has actually seen action doesn't wear anything like this. By the way, I'm a teacher too. So, all you internet commandos can go to hell or visit Cheney and find out where he got his differments!

  29. John Karnage

    Ah yes, but whose choice was it to go and fight and die they could have stayed home did they ask them to go fight, now if they were forced with the draft another story, but if they chose then screw em

  30. John Karnage

    No no it was not made that way. While the our country is Great the country is not as great as it used to be. Even if we had lost he would still be teaching in this country he would know no different

  31. John Karnage

    Veronica Cross Would you be okay if I showed up with a shirt that said screw all military service? Would you be okay then I agree people should do what they want, just hold to your beliefs both ways

  32. John Karnage

    Good for them then for not following a group of corrupt officials, and not becoming a brainwashed puppet to kill for no reason then someone said to.

  33. Phillip Friedman

    When I was in school in I can remember the dress code stipulating no clothing with beer, cigerettes, guns, cuss words, racial slurs, etc. If it's indecent don't wear it to school. With all the crazy gun violence in schools, why wear a shirts with machines on it. I can find 100 other Marine shirts that are more suitable. Parents need to be more responsible of what kids are wearing and stop being so surprised when schools send them home.

  34. Kim Allin

    My husband is a Marine and there are a million other shirts that children and adults can wear that doesn't show guns or killing. That's not the only things the Marines do. My kids wear military shirts all the time and there allowed because it doesn't showcase gun, killing or violence.

  35. Chance Castillo

    from my picture ya can see i am a law enforcement officer and ex military. i see nothing wrong with the shirt but heck if the schools and government can get GOD out of our schools and government well anything else seems simple enuff to get banned LOL. Hate to say it but this news will slowly fade away and nothing will be done to change all the banning and cencorship. look at gun control today in the news. takes more guns away from the good guys but the criminals are happy as hell. they dont get thier guns from gunshops they get them from a trunk of a car from shady dealers cheap because they were stolen LOL. so criminals are just waiting for the government to take away guns from the citizens so it will be easier for them to rob your house or steal your car at gunpoint LOL.

  36. Anonymous

    I was in the Marines and served in combat in Vietnam on the DMZ during 1967/1968. I see no sense in allowing young people to send messages to other young people that I's oaky to kill other people. There is a time and place for this type of thinking and that is during boot training while serving in the Marines. The Marines have perfected brain-washing to the nth degree, we need not allow children to fall to that level thinking.

  37. Rebecca White

    This shirt is not about protecting the country. It's about having an excuse to kill people. I grew up in the military and no one I knew ever took killing anybody as something to be proud of. It was a necessary evil, but evil nonetheless. This shirt glorifies murder.

  38. Greg Shields

    It was stupid, leftist and antiAmerican…some crap head union teacher making political terror against people who are proud to be Americans. ANYONE doing this should be fired. Running over the rights of citizens because you have a different point of view is unacceptable. Politics needs to be banned from the classroom.

  39. Greg Shields

    maybe you are unable too see the good things our nation has done dragondestiny …some people are like that…only being able to see the bad things in the world. Sounds like you have been thoroughly brained washed…I am mixed white and Native American and I am proud to be an American. Apparently you are ignorant of world history and think only Americans are guilty. Too bad.

  40. Greg Shields

    ever heard of the first amendment…freedom of speech…next they will be babbing American flags on t shirts…wait the already tried that…or arresting kids for toy guns…wait they already did that.
    The line must be drawn in the sand…freedom of speech must be protected for everyone.
    Shirts with things like black panthers, la raza, and the kkk must be viewed as equally distasteful but never banned.

  41. Greg Shields

    dragonodestiny btw Christopher Columbus was not a citizen of the United States, never visited what became the Mainland of the United States. Grievances with Columbus should be taken up with the appropriate Nation. I never read in the history books about the atrocities you suggest…could you point out
    the sources for that information? The United States is not responsible for European colonialism.
    The colonists arrived here because of religious persecution in Europe, ethnic cleansing, indebtedness as criminals shipped to a penal colony…so suggesting that somehow these refugees were responsible
    for the colonialism of Europe is just plain stupid. The Native popuation was equally responsible for hostilities.
    To suggest that "whites" were wrong to be here is totally a racist comment. If you will remember the first settlements were made on land PURCHASED from the Native North Americans.

  42. Maggie Lee

    This tee shirt displays the pride of this young person…I would not have any problem having my children or grandchildren wearing this tee shirt…proud to be an AMERICAN.

  43. Michele Elliott Halley

    I agree with you Phillip! Go ahead, use your free speech, Greg, but not on school property or time. The school has a right to deem what ALL their student's should and should not wear. Why should one student be allowed to brake the rules?

  44. Larry Donaldson

    John Karnage. You mean like our local law officials? Forgot the WTC already or the more than dozen other instances where the peaceful Muslims have killed hundreds of Americans. Do you even have the faintest clue that MORE US citizens die a violent death each and every year than all the combat deaths so far in the present war? The same thing applied during Viet-Nam. I served three tours in Viet-Nam and I sure as hell wasn't some brain-washed puppet. When I killed it was in defense of me and others. I often wonder what people like you, and millions of others, would do if every person in uniform would just say "Fuck it! You protect the country and it's citizens." and quit. Just walk away and refuse to fight, and possibly die, for the likes of you. After 20 some years as a Special Forces, Airborne Ranger, and serving through-out the world putting out the little fires that you had/have no idea of while you and yours slept in a warm bed and lived your good life that a lot of Americans just like you just aren't worth the effort to protect. You, sir, should kiss the asses of those who are.

  45. Anonymous

    Greg Shields , great come back, Now for the Indian side, yes the settlers bought the land from the indians and told the indians that there money would be safer in American banks, Now 2013 the US gov. dont have the money that was suppose to be safe in there bank thrus all the 100 trillion dollar law suits, the Potowatomie nation just settled one for 10 billion dollars and still waiting for my check thank you, Were here were there were everywhere, this is also about a little boy showing his support for the MILITARY and im proud that they want to show there support and where the shirts, semper fi

  46. Anonymous

    it's because of the marines, the school board can decide what is o.k. and what is not. The military keeps your freedom.

  47. Dennis Altman

    who's the unpatriotic commie bastard that made a big deal of this? a quiet request & explanation of the rules would probably resolved this issue.

  48. Anonymous

    This is ridiculous, as a child of the 70's, we wore t-shirts with all kids of sayings, pictures, slogans, etc, to school.

  49. Brian W Price

    Typical LIBERAL B.S.. God forbid..what's that LIBERAL?, can't use God, o.k… Obama forbid that someone should OPENLY express a non-Politically Correct thought in a Public School.

  50. Rozi Buchanan Martin

    dragonodestiny , Then it is your opinion that it is okay for the Marines to protect you and your country as long as they do it without a rifle or other weapon?

  51. Laurie Duibhir-Erickson

    I was in the Marine Corps. I love the Corps. I come from a military family. However, the T-shirt is inappropriate for any school setting. If you want to wear a t-shirt that says "Marines" and nothing else, then do so. But guns, pictures of guns, killing, none of that belongs in our schools. We need a new thought system, our culture needs an overhauling. Guns have no place, in any form, in schools.

  52. Laurie Duibhir-Erickson

    I totally agree with you Jay. Schools have the right and obligation to enforce dress codes. So ya'll get over it and stop whining cause someone told a kid "NO". It is called discipline and as I am a former Marine I can tell you, kids who become recruits need a little more of it. Being told "NO" is actually good for a kid once in a while.

  53. Bill Cowell

    I'm a huge supporter of the troops and the 2nd amendment. That said, this shirt was a bit over the top for a school. There are plenty of shirts supporting the Marines that would have had much less explicit imagery.

  54. Anonymous

    Bunch of idiots the lot of you. The shirt can be banned from school for whatever reason the school administration deems. Last thing we need is another psycho running around school shooting it up or for people to feel intimidated by a crazy.

    Also, yes shut your fucking pie hole. I served in the military and even I am not this blindly one-sided to go "huuurr duuurr Americaaa guns and kill muslims" like some of you idiots. Glad I'm surrounded by less of you idiots now.

  55. Jennifer Miller-Riggs

    I've been…Marines actually. That's not the shirt that was worn, this story isn't even true. This is ridiculous. THe NEWS is news huh? Get your facts STRAIGHT first before you post bs and insight riots all over the place. Wow. And we wonder what's wrong with the world today.