Mugshot T-shirts exploited an Indiana teen when former schoolmates from a school he once attended showed up as a rival soccer team his new school was going to play. The incident took place on September 3.
Indiana’s News Center reports that 18-year-old Alex Rittenhouse was faced with a disturbing form of bullying when his old high school’s soccer team showed up wearing T-shirts that had a picture of his face on them. It wasn’t just the kids from Marion High School that wore T-shirts with the teen’s mugshot plastered on the front, some of their parents had them on, too.
Alex’s father, Kevin Rittenhouse, says last year he caught his son with marijuana. When he turned him in to police, his son’s cell phone was confiscated, and other students’ names from Marion High School were on the device. Police obtained their information, and when the kids got into trouble, they figured Alex informed authorities about them.
According to RTV 6, a lot of the students thought his son was a “nark” when authorities found the names of other students on his phone.
The bullying got so bad at the school that the boy had to transfer from Marion to Oak Hill High School. He hadn’t dealt with the kids since moving to the other school until their soccer team arrived to play against his new school. Those who wore the T-shirts were asked to leave, but it took a while for anything to be done.
Marion High School released a statement about the mugshot T-shirt.
“Marion High School administrators addressed the issue of the shirts in question immediately upon learning of them soon after school started on the day of the soccer double header. Anyone found wearing one of the shirts at school throughout the day was required to remove it, per dress code policy.
“In addition, school administrators took a proactive stance at the time of the games, turning people who were wearing the shirts away at the gate. No one was allowed into the stadium with one of the shirts visible. Unfortunately, there were a few who concealed them and displayed them once inside the stadium. MHS administrators dealt with those as they arose, and people were asked to cover the shirts or leave the stadium.
“The MHS Athletic Department is committed to developing champions of character and promoting the spirit of sportsmanship. Coaches and teams were notified that day that any players wearing the shirts would not be allowed entry into the stadium.”
“It is a disappointing situation. Administrators have spoken directly with family members to try to resolve their concerns, and would be happy to discuss the situation further if they address their continued concerns directly to us.”
[Image via New York Daily News]