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Young Patriot Who Loves America Is Punished For His Pride At School.

Posted by Casey on March 11, 2008

Zero tolerance policy at schools is going too far. Here in Vegas we’ve had kids expelled for drawing guns on a piece of paper. The media archives are full of such stories, and this is just the latest.

Yahoo:

The family of a middle school student who was given detention for wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of a gun has filed a federal freedom of speech lawsuit against the school district.

Donald Miller III, 14, went to Penn Manor High School in December wearing a T-shirt he said was intended to honor his uncle, a U.S. Army soldier fighting in Iraq.

The shirt bears the image of a military sidearm and on the front pocket says “Volunteer Homeland Security.” On the back, over another image of the weapon, are the words “Special issue Resident Lifetime License — United States Terrorist Hunting Permit — Permit No. 91101 — Gun Owner — No Bag Limit.”

Officials at the Millersville school told him to turn his shirt inside out. When Miller refused, he got two days of detention.

No doubt some of you will support the school because he refused to turn his shirt inside out, but the real issue is whether the school should have demanded such a thing in the first place. So what was the school’s reason for not allowing the shirt?

But an attorney for the school district said school must create a safe environment for students in the post-Columbine era, and bringing even the image of a gun to school violates the district’s policy.

“There’s a much higher level of sensitivity these days,” Penn Manor attorney Kevin French said. “But it’s based on reality.”

Ummm … ok. A kid wearing an anti-terrorist shirt is a threat to the school’s “safe environment?” This isn’t the first time a patriotic shirt has been banned from school campus, but rather just the latest incident.

WND has more on the story as well.

Apparently the shirt was purchased at Fort Benning, Ga by the boy’s uncle who is currently serving in Iraq.

“[Miller] openly and proudly identifies himself as a patriotic American who supports America’s military…,” the lawsuit said. “He believes that it is the duty of every American to protect this country and do what they can to honor and support our brave service men and women.

“Plaintiff further believes that he has the right to speak up and express his support for the Department of Homeland Security and to convince others of the need to defeat the terrorists who seek to harm America,” it continued.

Damn! Now that is a kid to be proud of!

It would seem that the school’s policy on clothing is fairly vague and subjective.

One school policy, for example, allows the “faculty and administration” to step in if someone “feel[s]” a student is displaying poor taste in appearance.

The school’s attorney is trying to expand upon the “safe environment” argument by saying the kid was advocating illegal activity.

The school district’s lawyer, Robert M. Frankhouser Jr. said in a letter that the T-shirt violates a school ban on clothing “that advocates the use of force or urges the violation of law or school regulations.”

“The shirt in question contains the image of a firearm and clearly advocates illegal behavior. The district is confident that its position on this issue is appropriate in light of the contours of First Amendment jurisprudence and the pedagogical mission of the school,” he said.

So the shirt “clearly advocates illegal behavior” eh? Since when is supporting Homeland Security’s hunt for terrorists illegal behavior. We are all on the hunt for terrorists, and if need be we should exterminate them. There is nothing illegal about that, and we’ve been asked to do such things by our government. To hunt someone doesn’t mean to kill them. Bounty hunters hunt fugitives, but don’t kill them unless necessary. The kid didn’t have a shirt advocating murder of innocent people. Nor did the shirt show the image of a gangsta rapper who raps about poppin caps in a cop’s ass, pimping, and beating women … which I’m sure the school allows other children to wear.

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2 Responses to “Young Patriot Who Loves America Is Punished For His Pride At School.”

  1. John Murphy said

    If the child in question should have a political point of view that is not of his parents (or Uncle’s) chosing, there are other appropriate venues to display it. The disruptive shirt got its’ attention. Che Guevara toting a Kalashnikov on a tee-shirt would have had the same result. These ideas should be nowhere near a school. The subtlties of the subect matter are lost on children. All they see is the gun. A more thoughtful approach would be to have a picture of Tom Ridge on a tee-shirt. Then the child could chuckle to himself and no one would know what the shirt meant except he and his Uncle.

  2. caseythehost said

    With all do respect, I doubt a Che Guevara shirt would have received the same reaction. However, I can only base this on my own personal experience growing up. School staff always allowed Che shirts on campus. I wonder if this school’s staff would react the same if the boy had a shirt with the picture of a US soldier carrying an M-16 A3, because kids just see the rifle.

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