A California school banned a sixth grade student from wearing a T-shirt in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
A dress code in effect in the Orangevale school system in the Sacramento area requires a uniform that includes a T-shirt with the school's name and logo.
School administrators were unwilling to make an exception to allow the girl to pay tribute to the those who perished on 9/11 at the World Trade Towers.
The youngster's stepfather, Iraq war veteran Tim Foster with 25 years of military service, said that the entire family wears the shirt every year on 9/11. The front of the shirt contains a message reading "in darkness, we shine brightest," and shows the names of each of the victims in the shape of the towers.
Foster told the Sacramento CBS News affiliate the Fosters "wear it to honor what had happened on 9/11 and all the people that have perished and the lives that were changed on that day," and hoped that the school would give permission for a departure from the standard dress code on a special day like the 13th anniversary of 9/11.
However, a school district representative said, "Unfortunately, that type of shirt would not fit within that dress code policy." He acknowledged the significance of the 9/11 memorial and insisted that the ban was unrelated to the 9/11 itself. "It's very much an important part of the academic process, but we do need to enforce dress code policy. Once you start making exceptions, you sometimes find it hard to draw the line."
The school schedules what it calls free dress days when students don't have to abide by the uniform policy, but 9/11 is not one of those days on the academic calendar.The 9/11 T-shirt involves a far different situation than one where school officials overreact when an innocent child fashions a pastry into a gun or some such. Or, in another instance, a high school student was sent home to change because his Duck Dynasty T-shirt was deemed "too threatening." Given what kids wear (or don't wear) to class these days, most parents would likely be overjoyed that a public school has implemented a dress code/uniform policy, and there is certainly an argument to be made that once officials agree to an exception, the floodgates will open.
As The Right Scoop website observed, "It's too bad the school wouldn't accommodate such an honorable request, but they have a defensible position if they actually have a uniform that they're supporting instead of just banning the 9/11 shirt and allowing kids to wear everything else."
On the other hand, BizPacReview declared, "Reasonable adults understand the usefulness of school dress codes, but we have lost our minds and our humanity if we can't allow our children to remember one of the most significant days in modern American history."
Do you think officials acted appropriately or inappropriately in banning the 9/11 tribute T-shirt from school?