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Robert Winner

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School dress codes

After the arrest of Jared Marcum in W. Virginia for wearing a T-shirt that stated "NRA protect your right", I begin looking at dress codes. For that school it was, "dress code prohibits clothing that has violence, profanity, alcohol, drugs or tobacco, along with any sexually suggestive or discriminatory messages." He wore the t-shirt most of the day until a teacher was offended and he was told by that teacher to take it off. He refused and was arrested for disrupting the educational process and suspended.

The question is: Did the 14 year old disrupt the educational process? Could this have been handled differently? Did the teacher enforce the dress code or express a personal opinion on the issue of gun control?

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  • Jun 19 2013: I actually find this quite offensive. Much like the "black trenchcoat" issue after Columbine, this just does not make sense.

    A student, wearing a t-shirt, not disrupting the educational process, is arrested for "disrupting" the educational process by wearing the shirt. Circular, and false, logic. The shirt has no issue in this, as far as I know as I have not seen the shirt.

    Kids, quite frankly, wear far more offensive clothing daily and are not suspended or removed from school. Yet, when it is a "quasi-political" message that is not popular, would the student have been removed. I wonder if this "policy" would have been played out equally across all political messages. Probably not.

    At best, the student should have been recognized as stating a belief. At worst, the student should have been talked to about the appropriateness of the shirt. Not suspended or arrested. The school will lose any legal issue with this. Where has out common sense gone?

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