5-year-old’s Michigan T-shirt banned in OK

A 5-year-old kindergarten student has run afoul of the fashion police in Oklahoma City for supporting the wrong team.

Cooper Barton wore a “Big House” t-shirt — the nickname for Michigan’s 114,000-seat stadium — to classes at Wilson Elementary, and was told by school officials to turn the shirt inside out.

The officials explained that Oklahoma City has a policy prohibiting the wearing of college team shirts, unless they represent Oklahoma schools.

His family, avid Michigan supporters, was not pleased.

“It wasn’t offensive,” his mother Shannon told KWTV. “He’s five.”

The Oklahoma City Public Schools District policy forbids “clothing bearing the names or emblems of all professional and collegiate athletic teams” unless they’re from Oklahoma. Officials said the policy was developed in 2005 as an anti-gang measure.

School Superintendent Karl Springer said the policy was under review due to the incident involving Cooper.

“He absolutely had concerns about [the policy] and thinks it might be outdated,” a school system spokeswoman told KWTV.

What about it: Is the policy stupid? Or should Cooper’s family just shut up and follow the rules?

157 comments Add your comment

papa pink

August 23rd, 2012
7:32 am

A little common sense was needed. Stupid rule that violates Freedom of Speech.

KCV

August 23rd, 2012
7:33 am

Dress code rules exist for a reason. The family should follow the rules or send their child to another school.

BC

August 23rd, 2012
7:35 am

Your kidding me?

GA Buckeye

August 23rd, 2012
7:36 am

I guess the bigger question is, why would anyone allow their child to wear a Michigan shirt?

Pay Per View Midget Wrestling

August 23rd, 2012
7:40 am

Figures……They\’re still excited about the invention of the wheel in Oklahoma

Zero-Tolerance Policy on Incompetence

August 23rd, 2012
7:40 am

Incompetent Public School System Employees:

Your Tax Dollars at Work.

Rick

August 23rd, 2012
7:43 am

June 11th, 1963 was when the stupidity by those in favor of authoritarianism were struck a major blow. Thank goodness George Wallace never became president.

Chuck Clausen

August 23rd, 2012
7:44 am

I’m sure this is an old policy, that the current board will change – I happen to be a Buckeye, but the Wolves fans should not have their speech restricted.

Voice of Reason

August 23rd, 2012
7:55 am

What parent names their kid Cooper? Honestly?

Call It Like It Is

August 23rd, 2012
7:58 am

The real story here is why the parents are not being brought up on charges for allowing their child to wear a michigan shirt. Someone call DFACS.

Go Blue!

August 23rd, 2012
7:58 am

Hail to the victors!

RL

August 23rd, 2012
7:58 am

More out of control government. What is about becoming a bureaucrat makes ones reasoning go completely crazy?

Christopher

August 23rd, 2012
8:04 am

This is the same state where a high school refused to give the valedictorian her diploma until she apologizes for using the word “hell” in her graduation speech. The pattern of ignorance is undeniable.

lefty fielder

August 23rd, 2012
8:05 am

How are out of state college shirts gang-related?
Just askin

Red State freedom

August 23rd, 2012
8:09 am

Ah, red state freedom. You are free to do anything you like, as long as you do what i say. how about this? a dress code that probids COLLEGE instructors from wearing blue jeans? do you really think college students care about that? absolutely not.

Tyrone Biggums

August 23rd, 2012
8:09 am

This story ends well. Michigan’s AD David Brandon called the family and invited them to Michigan Stadium for a game.

GTFan

August 23rd, 2012
8:10 am

Stupid policy no matter what team you cheer for!

Mickey7

August 23rd, 2012
8:11 am

Many gangs where specific hats, jerseys and colors for identification. For instance, Cincinatti Reds, Chicago Bulls are “blood” related and the Dallas Cowboys and the “star” are commonly identified with “crips”.

NT

August 23rd, 2012
8:11 am

And, where is Oklahoma?

of course

August 23rd, 2012
8:13 am

This is seriously stupid.

MiltonMan

August 23rd, 2012
8:15 am

The “smart” natives of Michigan move out of the dump of the state. The not so fortunate ones collate in Detroit.

david

August 23rd, 2012
8:17 am

The kids are not even allowed to wear pro sports shirts either. Using the gang excuse is a joke. It looks like public school is moving toward bring back school uniforms. The people that are making these rules were allowed to wear any shirt they wanted team wise.

MiltonMan

August 23rd, 2012
8:18 am

“Ah, red state freedom. You are free to do anything you like, as long as you do what i say.”

As opposed to the blue dump state known as Michigan??? Please tell us why so many blue staters are moving out of their “paradise”.

Bobby

August 23rd, 2012
8:19 am

I don’t have a problem with OKC schools requiring that IF a student wears a jersey to school that it only be for Oklahoma schools. I just don’t see the problem here. The policy was stated and the family chose to violate it. The kid can wear his “Big House” shirt at home or anywhere other than OKC public schools.

vladamir sonovabitch

August 23rd, 2012
8:20 am

This is just plain stupid from whatever angle you look at it.

lefty fielder

August 23rd, 2012
8:21 am

Wonder what gang adopts the Saints logo

The Masked Superstar

August 23rd, 2012
8:25 am

I guess that school is a “no freedom of speech” zone. Gee whiz… What will the morons of the world do next?

Will

August 23rd, 2012
8:28 am

Public school administrators are constantly facing the problem with gang-related clothing. Two teams whose athletic clothing is most oftren adopted by gangs is Notre Dame and the Oakland Raiders. If there is evidence that local gang members in public schools identify by wearing this type clothing, should this type clothing be banned? Or would that be “silly”?

Jenna

August 23rd, 2012
8:32 am

If the rule was in place and the child broke the rule, yes, he should have turned the shirt inside out. THEN his family could go and speak with the school about it. But you don’t break the rule and then get angry when you are held accountable for doing so. It’s ass backwards people. If you don’t like the rules and think there should be change, then go about it the proper way. Teaching this boy to follow the rules is a valuable lesson his parents failed to teach. They also missed out on teaching him how to properly go about effecting change. Instead, they’re teaching him to do as he please, where he pleases and damn the rules. Great parenting.

Melissa

August 23rd, 2012
8:37 am

if the ban were due to gang activity, don’t you think the press release would have said, “The reason we restrict this type of clothing is due to gang activity”. I don’t live in GA anymore but my oldest would be crushed if she couldn’t wear her Falcons shirt when everyone else is wearing their Bears stuff!

Amanda

August 23rd, 2012
8:37 am

Jenna, what in that brief story led you to believe that they even knew this was a rule?

Michael Corcoran

August 23rd, 2012
8:43 am

This is another great example of lowbrow teachers/administrators without a realistic clue of life.
How can our bright young students learn from stupider and less educated teachers? It’s almost impossible.

aziolko

August 23rd, 2012
8:47 am

Oklahoma, crawl out of your cave.

Dagne

August 23rd, 2012
8:48 am

We have kids who haven’t worn a clean shirt to school in days, kids who haven’t eaten a healthy home cooked meal in months, kids whose parents would rather buy a pack of cigarettes than a pack of pencils for them, and kids who cry when we put them on the bus home because they would rather stay at school to avoid the life they are subjected to at home…..
And we worry that these kids will even make it to, much less graduate from, high school…. AND YOU ARE WORRIED THAT A 5 YEAR OLD’S SHIRT HAD A NAME OF A UNIVERSITY THAT OFFERS ADVANCED DEGREES?
Wake up, America.

Gus

August 23rd, 2012
8:49 am

This is a prime example why school uniforms are the way to go. Why should teachers and administrators have to deal with issues like this?

pooh p

August 23rd, 2012
8:50 am

Good for OK. When I was in high school I was mugged by a group of teenage gang members in Atlanta, all decked out in their Hawaii garb. To this day the sight of a rainbow brings me terror.

MT

August 23rd, 2012
8:52 am

Dagne

Your missing the point dude.

Pivate School

August 23rd, 2012
8:54 am

Go to another school? You must also be government educated.

Derpmaster

August 23rd, 2012
9:02 am

(sigh). Well, we can’t really throw stones at them, Clayton just re-elected Hill.

UGH!

August 23rd, 2012
9:03 am

Yea, Jenna – remember they are transplants from Michigan. How would they know that such a stupid rule ever existed???

Common Sense

August 23rd, 2012
9:05 am

The child is 5 yrs old. Not sure of the “gang” threat here. Just saying….

Sons of Liberty

August 23rd, 2012
9:12 am

Clearly that school is violating the First Amendment. The Nazi tactics those Oklahomans are carrying out is un-American and anti-liberty, they should be ashamed!

Moutaineers House

August 23rd, 2012
9:18 am

Lets look at the subject from the finest detail. The child is 5 and in kindergarden, so why in the world does it matter since the last time I checked the gang population hadn’t started recruiting that early. Skinheads began to drop the overall appearance of their traditional stereotype because they were beginning to draw the attention. Though the gang culture hasn’t come to this point guaranteed that if the pressure comes this can all be changed. Absence of parenting has only furthered the culture that is active today in kids lives. Allow children to wear what they want and start parenting/teaching kids the things necessary to survive life without violence and crime.

As a side note, the kid should be ashamed to wear that shirt after 2007 when the mighty Appalachian State Mountaineers came in and embarrased them. That place ain’t the “Big House” anymore, that is “OUR HOUSE” until 2014 when you get the chance to right the ship.

HERE COMES THE JUDGE!

August 23rd, 2012
9:19 am

Well now…lets put the 5 year under some hot lights and interrogate him until he spill the names of the other members of his gang!! Did they also pat him down to make sure no weapons were present? Wait a minute…I remember a school in Georgia suspended a little girl for bringing a tweety bird figurine to school. Ok, ok a rule is a rule…no matter how stupid…would I be wrong if I mentioned that just a tiny bit of common sense would take care of this!!! Huh? Huh???

More Government Please

August 23rd, 2012
9:19 am

But did he get to count his ketchup as a vegetable?

Not A Big Fan

August 23rd, 2012
9:22 am

What if he had a shirt that stated (in non-offensive terms) that all prominent Oka. teams are destined for failure?

Pr

August 23rd, 2012
9:25 am

Once again Oklahoma shows how STUPID they really are.

Mark

August 23rd, 2012
9:30 am

People, it’s Oklahoma. What can you really expect from those people?

Jim

August 23rd, 2012
9:30 am

And you people still thing the government knows how to run things………wake up idiots!!!!!

Motocross Survivor

August 23rd, 2012
9:32 am

This reminds me of the story a couple of years back of the middle aged “family man” who grabbed and ripped loose the testicles of a guy who walked into an Oklahoma eatery for wearing a Texas t-shirt. What is with these prairie animals?