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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Students at Baltimore Elementary School Told to Either Wear Purple for Ravens Rally or Sit in the Library During it

Nothing brings a community together quite like a local team making a run.  Considering it’s Friday and there are only four teams remaining in the Super Bowl hunt, I’m sure there are plenty of people wearing their Niners, Giants, Patriots, and Ravens gear to school and work on the east and west coasts.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with doing that as long as young children are not forced to support the Ravens like Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore tried to mandate.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Roland Park is now doing a bit of backpedaling after they were chosen by the Baltimore Ravens organization to be a part of pep rally that is touring the city.  Here is what a couple of teachers emailed to parents in preparation of the television appearance.

“Students must wear purple or Ravens attire to attend, as there will be many TV cameras there,” one teacher wrote to parents in an email obtained by The Baltimore Sun. “Not wearing purple or Ravens attire means making a choice not to attend.”

Another teacher emailed that “students must wear purple in order to attend. If your child does not wear purple or you do not wish them to attend, I believe staff will supervise the students in the library.”

As expected, some parents did not respond well to the requests (demands?). Melanie LeGrande, the director of community relations for the Ravens, said she has expressed to the school’s administration that she does not want any students to be excluded if they choose not to support the Ravens.  Naturally, the school blamed the “you will be banished to the library” talk on a miscommunication and insisted the teachers were just trying to convince students to all wear purple.

“It’s about discrimination and an exclusionary policy that needs to be fought against,” a parent named Mark Brody said. “I like the town getting behind the team. I like Purple Friday. But this is about standing up for their right to just be themselves, to not have to pretend that you’re a Ravens fan to go to an event during the school day. I shouldn’t have to send my kid to school to have them sit in the library.”

This very well could have been the doing of a couple of teachers who wanted their classes to dominate with Ravens support, but it’s no surprise it has turned into an issue.  Telling young kids they all have to be the same never seems to go over well.

Chest bump to Off the Bench for passing the story along

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