Alan Holmes, an Oregon 8th grader, was suspended from school for wearing a shirt which honored American soldiers. When Holmes slipped the T-shirt over his shoulders and headed off to class, he did not think the patriotic sentiments and the Battlefield Cross emblem on his clothing was any big deal — he was so very wrong.
Holmes wore a T-shirt which read, “Standing for Those Who Stood for Us.” While the words do not seem like phrasing which would spark controversy, the Battlefield Cross on the side of the shirt quickly garnered the attention of school administrators, MSN reports. The traditional soldier memorial symbol depicts a rifle standing to hold up a helmet, with combat boots placed on the side.
— Jerry Williams (@jcwill1968) October 14, 2015
Dexter McCarty Middle School officials objected to the patriotic shirt worn by Alan Holmes because of the image of the rifle. Clothing which appears to promote “alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or violence” and “clothing containing objectionable language or symbols, including weapons,” are strictly prohibited on campus of the Oregon school.
The school principal then gave Holmes a choice after stopping him to discuss the fallen soldier T-shirt, either change his apparel or face an in-school suspension. The patriotic middle school student chose the second option and prepared to start in-school suspension. Alan was confused about all the controversy and position of the school, during an interview with KATU, he said he was just attempting to support his older brother, a U.S. Marine.
“I was just upset. I was heartbroken. My brother, he means everything for me. Just being able to help and give back to the people who fought and died for us it just makes me feel good,” Holmes said.
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— Lee Levy (@thekingleelevy) October 12, 2015
Although the Oregon 8th grader said he understands the violent clothing ban in light of all the school shootings, but insists the image on his fallen soldier shirt “isn’t relating to violence.”
Holmes’ older brother joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 19 and did a tour in Iraq. Alan fondly recalled the day his brother returned safely home from the war.
“I was proud of him. I remember the day he came home and I was just so happy. I was little but I still remember it, he made me happy… The principal, I asked him, ‘is this considered a suspension?’ He said ‘yes I’ll see you tomorrow’ and I left.”
The parents of the Dexter McCarty Middle School student were called, and he was picked up from school. Charlie Holmes, the young man’s father, said he was very proud of his son’s decision to stand up for what he believes is right, even when he must suffer the consequences. The elder Holmes said he would have done the same thing if he had been in his son’s shoes.
Officials at the Oregon school have declined to comment about the specifics of Holmes’ suspension, they cited district confidentiality policies.
The Oregon T-shirt suspension comes on the heels of the Umpqua Community College shooting in Roseburg earlier this month. Some felt in the wake of the tragic events, stringent rules about apparel with guns needs to stay in place. Others applaud Alan Holmes’ patriotism and firmly believe that supporting and remembering the sacrifices of soldiers have nothing to do with school shootings. An unarmed veteran charged the Umpqua Community College shooter, likely stopping more deaths from occurring as he was hit several times with bullets.
What do you think about the Oregon 8th grader being suspended over wearing the fallen soldier memorial T-shirt to school?
[Image via Twitter]