By Sara Dogan
A student at Kirby-Smith Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida who wore a t-shirt with the GOP emblem of a red, white, and blue elephant to school for “Spirit Week” was told by a school employee that he should turn his shirt inside-out because it was a dress code violation.
“When he came home from school he told me ‘Mommy I got in trouble, I was told to turn my shirt inside out,’” described the student’s mother. “I said why and he said ‘The dean of my school told me to turn it inside out,’” she added.
“It was Nerd Day, so he wanted to be a Republican nerd,” explained the student’s mother, who asked that her family remain anonymous.
The student and his mother looked up the school dress code, but did not find any prohibitions on political logos.
In fact, the school does not restrict students from wearing political symbols to school, although clothing considered “obscene, profane, suggestive or derogatory to others” is forbidden. School employees, however, are forbidden from wearing clothes with political messages to school.
After the student’s mother inquired about the incident, the school acknowledged that the shirt did not violate the school dress code and issued an apology.
A spokesperson for the Duval County Public School District claimed that the school employee who said that the shirt violated the dress code was confused about the variance in rules for students and school staff.
“When I talked with the school district they told me that the child can actually wear that shirt, that he was not in violation,” said local reporter Jenese Harris who covered the story. “They also just said that they believe this was simply a big misunderstanding. … Duval Schools apologized to the mom.” In a statement to Fox News, the school confirmed that the student had not in fact violated the dress code, and was not penalized for wearing the GOP shirt, beyond being asked to turn it inside out.
When asked if her son would wear his Republican t-shirt to school again despite the incident, the mom responded, “Yes.”