Mom: Son wrongly told he couldn't wear GOP logo shirt at school

Student says he was told to turn shirt inside out during 'Spirit Week'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville mom was outraged this week after she said her child was told he couldn't wear a T-shirt with a Republican Party logo at his middle school. 

The mom asked that News4Jax not name her or her son.

She said he wore a red, white and blue shirt with the Republican Party's elephant logo on it to school during “Spirit Week” and was told by a Kirby-Smith Middle School staff member to turn the shirt inside out.

“It was nerd day, so he wanted to be a Republican nerd,” the student's mother said.

She said when he came home and said he was told to turn the shirt inside out, she wanted to know what rule he had violated by wearing it.

The answer, it turned out, was that he hadn't broken any rule.

The student dress code states in part, "Students may not wear any clothing or display any items which are obscene, profane, suggestive or derogatory to others."

The mother pointed out that a political party logo does not fall under any of those categories.

Duval County Public School administrators agreed, saying the shirt was not a violation of the student dress code.

According to a DCPS spokesperson:

  • The student never received a dress code violation for his shirt.
  • The student and a staff member had a discussion about the shirt on Wednesday. The staff member was seeking clarification about the student dress code violation versus dress code guidelines for staff which are different. 
  • During the conversation with the student, the staff member suggested the student turn his shirt inside out. However, the staff member is not aware of the student turning the shirt inside out at that time and did not at any time pursue the matter.

The school called Friday to apologize, the student's mother said, adding that he will wear the shirt to school again.

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