When eighth-grader Alan Holmes showed up at school with a patriotic t-shirt, the last thing anyone expected was that he’d get suspended for it.
The shirt, which included the words “Standing For Those Who Stood For Us,” also had an illustration of the traditional soldier memorial – a helmet, boots, and a rifle.
That latter item – the gun – is what caught the attention of the principal of Dexter McCarty Middle School this past week and prompted him to give Holmes an ultimatum. He could either switch shirts or face an in-school suspension.
Holmes, whose older brother served in Iraq with the Marines, refused to back down.
“I was just upset,” he told KATU News. “I was heartbroken. My brother, he means everything for me. Just being able to help and give back to the people who fought and died for us it just makes me feel good.”
The school dress code, however, does ban students from wearing “clothing promoting alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or violence” and “clothing containing objectionable language or symbols, including weapons.”
Still, Holmes, who understands how people could be sensitive to gun images given the recent school shooting in Oregon, insists that his shirt was called out on a technicality and “isn’t relating to violence.”
What do you think? Was the school right in enforcing their policy, or did they take it too far with this one?