Concerns about gang members using clothing from sports teams to identify themselves is what contributed to the district implementing the policy several years ago. But Cooper is 5 years old. He’s in kindergarten. “I’m pretty sure he’s not a gangbanger,” his father said.
The teacher who ordered Cooper to reverse his shirt was only following policy. But that’s the trouble with some policies — they can remove all common sense from the equation. Those charged with carrying out such policies figure that it’s better to rigidly adhere to what’s in the manual than risk getting called onto the carpet by a superior for not doing so.
The school district plans to review the policy. It should.
Meantime, a nod to Cooper’s parents. They weren’t happy about the incident, which embarrassed their son, but instead of throwing a fit they counseled the boy thusly: “We explained to him that these are the rules, and we have to follow the rules,” dad Chris Barton said. “But we don’t think that this rule is correct.”