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5-year-old boy forced to turn his Michigan shirt inside-out at Oklahoma school

The Wilson Elementary School in Oklahoma City has a very strict dress code. Oftentimes that is a good thing for youngsters, but there are other times when a school’s dress code can leave you scratching your head. According to News 9 in Oklahoma, a 5-year-old boy named Cooper Barton was forced to turn his University of Michigan shirt inside-out when he arrived at Wilson Elementary last week.

Believe it or not, the Oklahoma City Public Schools dress code actually states that students are only allowed to wear Oklahoma college apparel to school. Clothing from any school outside of Oklahoma is prohibited, and Cooper’s mother Shannon Barton says her son was informed of that when he wore the Michigan shirt to kindergarten.

“They should really worry about academics,” she said. “It wasn’t offensive. He’s five.”

Did we mention the boy is five years old? Barton said her son was forced to go behind a tree on the playground to turn the shirt inside-out. Professional team apparel such as Oklahoma City Thunder gear is also prohibited by the OKCPS Dress Policy. The district says the dress code was created in 2005 to help rid schools of gang symbols and apparel.

Oklahoma City School Superintendant Karl Springer released a statement saying that the administration will look into the policy to see if it needs any changes.

Like this elementary school that threatened to isolate students if they didn’t wear purple to class, this seems completely over the top. It’s one thing to not allow young children to express themselves if they do so in an inappropriate manner, but now a 5-year-old can’t be proud of his favorite team unless that favorite team plays in his state? Talk about failing to pick your battles.

Thanks to Dr. Saturday for the story



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  • auntyde

    I have no problem with schools banning t-shirts with slogans or things like that.  In Hawaii, kids wear “uniform” t-shirts with the school name on them.  My problem with this story is that shirts with Oklahoma slogans are okay, but other university teams are not.  If there is a ban, then it should not be enforced piecemeal. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7LNQTDAN4ZVYDQVATT4VSFVDHY Ace Rothstein

    U of M shirts are usually on clearance. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7LNQTDAN4ZVYDQVATT4VSFVDHY Ace Rothstein

    Yeah here in Michigan, U of M shirts are always on clearance so the Walmart Wolverines dress their kids in this crap all the time. On the other hand, you literally cannot find Michigan State gear anywhere….SOLD OUT ! So hey, I feel for the parents. Pay full price for the MSU gear or save money and buy whats left on the red tag rack. Give the kid a break.  Things have really changed in Michigan. MSU is now “THE” University of Michigan – Bada Boom…Bada Bing  GO STATE ! 

  • wolverinedude

    go milk a cow and GO BLUE!

  • wolverinedude

    Feel sorry for the kid, I would even feel sorry for a special needs kid that wears MSU clothes.