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‘Inappropriate’ T-shirt gets student into trouble

RightMarch February 27, 2013

Tracy Jacim at FOX 35 News Orlando reports:

An eighth-grader from Cocoa says she was told by school staff to change her T-shirt Friday after she was told the one she was wearing was “inappropriate.”

Summer Schreiner, 15, said she got the T-shirt with the words “Don’t drink and park… accidents cause kids” from a Christian conference.

Summer said she was asked to remove the shirt during school at Clearlake Middle.

“I got through lunch, and on my way back, the assistant principal tells me I need to go to the office and change my shirt.”

Summer says she got the shirt the night before at a Christian conference called The Silver Ring Thing. It’s a gathering held in cities around the country in which teenagers pledge to remain abstinent until marriage. Once they make the pledge, they receive a silver ring.

“I was pretty upset. I thought it was silly,” Summer said. “It’s not like I was wearing a curse word or something that was promoting violence.

“It’s the shirt I got at a conference that is something that is very important to me.”

Summer’s mother, Angela Hogan, said: “They actually had her take off the shirt and put on a T-shirt the school issues for inappropriate dress. And the shirt they had her put on says, ‘Tomorrow I will dress for success.’

“That is what upsets her more,” Hogan said. “It was really humiliating for her, because she came dressed for success.”

But not according to school administrators.

“This is not a situation of whether or not the district agrees or disagrees with sexual abstinence among teenagers,” said Michele Irwin, the director of communications for the school district. “It’s  about the fact there is sexual innuendo on the shirt, and so we believe it violated our dress code policy.”

The school’s official dress code policy does prohibit what they call “clothing which contains sexually explicit, or oriented wording,” and “clothing that infringes on the rights of others.”

But Summer and her mother don’t see it that way.

“If they teach you about sex in the textbooks and stuff, and that’s in a textbook, why can’t I wear something that is related to it on a T-shirt?” Summer said.

Hogan talked with school administrators, but they are standing by their decision and their policy.


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