Nearly 100 Canton High School students received in-school suspensions on their first day last Wednesday after sporting neon-colored shoes, neon shoe strings and other “gang related” colors.
Principal Shirley Sanders told the Clarion-Ledger she does not know what prompted so many students to violate the dress code — outlined in an information packet distributed at registration — on the first day of school.
Sanders described the number as “unusually high,” and said some students were also inappropriately dressed on Thursday, but the number was “significantly lower.”
Despite being placed in in-school suspension, the students were permitted to contact their parents to bring them proper attire, WLBT reports.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Canton’s dress code has been in place for several years, and requires students wear navy shirts, khaki pants or skirts and black or dark-colored shoes or white tennis shoes.
Charles Smith told the paper his daughter went to school with black and yellow Nike sneakers, and he brought a different pair when she called.
"It was kind of a simple mistake on her part," said Smith, who supports the school’s uniform policy. "If one child gets away with it, the others will follow suit."
Willie Ross, another Canton High parent, had a different reaction to the situation, telling WJTV that “the world [is] complaining about colors of shoes on kids in schools -- they ought to be glad the kids come to school.”
Shoes that are a combination of blue and black or red and black are banned due to their connections to two gangs in the area.
Harold Gray, gang investigator for the Madison County District Attorney's Office, told WJTV that gang activity in the Canton area is "spreading like a cancer" in the 12-17 age group, and commends Canton High School administrators for being proactive.
According to the Associated Press, school officials say the policy is meant to prevent bullying, competition and gang clashes. Sanders told the Clarion-Ledger most parents are supportive of the dress code restrictions, and are working with the school to ensure their children comply with them.
In June, students at Stuyvesant High School in New York City organized a “Slutty Wednesday” protest against the school’s new dress code. Nearly 100 students paraded around the streets of lower Manhattan in revealing clothing, armed with flyers that read, “Redress the Dress Code.”
Last October, a 12-year-old girl in Nebraska was told by her principal she couldn’t wear a necklace that resembled a rosary due to its resemblance to a gang symbol.
Slavery Examples Used On Math Worksheet
In January 2012, parents of students at Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross, Ga. expressed outrage over the school district's response to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/08/examples-of-slavery-in-school-worksheet_n_1192512.html" target="_hplink">reports of using examples of slavery in math word problems.</a> The word problems in questions include references to slavery and "beatings."
More Slavery Math Problems
In March 2012, students at another Georgia school were given a math problem that referenced slavery, upsetting students and parents. Nearly 140 fourth grade students at James A. Jackson Elementary School contained an extra-credit question that read, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/james-a-jackson-elementary-school-slavey-math-problems_n_1370125.html" target="_hplink">"A plantation owner had 100 slaves. If three-fifths of them are counted for representation, how many slaves will be counted?"</a>
Communism v. Capitalism Worksheet
In February 2012, Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa received criticism for a class assignment on the Cold War. Based on a worksheet handed out in a social studies class, many questioned whether the lesson promoted communism over capitalism, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/05/roosevelt-high-school-und_n_1255842.html" target="_hplink">calling it "communist indoctrination."</a>
Morbid, Traumatizing Math Problems
A Washington, D.C. teacher was fired from Center City Public School's Trinidad campus in March 2012 for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/05/teacher-fired-for-giving-_n_1322173.html" target="_hplink">sending home violent, morbid and traumatizing math problems to third graders.</a> Questions included story lines about baking humans in ovens and a child waking up screaming after thousands of fire ants made a nest in a human brain.
Perceived Racist Vocab Quiz
A teacher was suspended and handed disciplinary action in March 2012 for a question she wrote on a vocabulary quiz that some argued was racist. When district officials reviewed the test in context, however, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/lakeshore-schools-rescind_n_1367588.html" target="_hplink">the charges against her were rescinded.</a>
'Degrading,' 'Offensive' Class Photo
Sawgrass Elementary School in Sunrise, Fla. made the news in April 2012 when a second grade student was included in a class photo despite not having turned in a parental consent form. Instead of retaking the photo, the photographer resolved to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/05/parents-upset-over-degrading-school-photo_n_1406159.html?ref=education" target="_hplink">paste a brown-colored smiley face over the boy's face.</a>
'African American Attire' = 'Animal Print'?
A letter sent home with students at Western Union Elementary School in North Carolina didn't sit well with parents in March 2012. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/western-union-elementary-african-american-attire_n_1370984.html" target="_hplink">The note asked students to wear "African American attire" or animal print for a Black History Month event,</a> calling into question educators' choice of words and cultural sensitivity.
Superintendent In KKK Robe
In April 2012, flyers with an image of Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis in a Ku Klux Klan robe sparked controversy in the community. The bill was in response to a contentious school redistricting plan that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/07/atlanta-public-schools-re_n_1410029.html" target="_hplink">would have closed several schools</a> in a number of Atlanta's black neighborhoods.