Huffpost Education

Cooper Barton, Oklahoma Student, Broke Dress Code By Wearing University Of Michigan Shirt

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One Oklahoma elementary school has a strict dress code policy -- no college apparel that isn't from Oklahoma.

Last week, Wilson Elementary School's principal told 5-year-old Cooper Barton to turn his T-shirt inside-out because it violated Oklahoma City Public Schools' dress code, KWTV reports. The boy was wearing a University of Michigan shirt.

District policy bars students from wearing "clothing bearing the names or emblems of all professional and collegiate athletic teams (with the exception of Oklahoma colleges and universities.)"

"They should really worry about academics. It wasn't offensive. He's five," Cooper's mother Shannon Barton told KWTV.

The dress code was created in 2005 with the help of an anti-gang task force and is currently under review, according to the Associated Press. The policy stemmed from concerns that national gangs used sports gear to represent local gangs.

"As when any policy is questioned, OKCPS administration will review the policy to determine if changes need to be made," district Superintendent Karl Springer said in a statement.

Jordan Griffith, a 13-year-old student at South Jones Elementary School in Mississippi, was told by his teacher to turn his shirt inside out. Griffith wore the shirt in support of his brother, who was deployed to Afghanistan, but his teachers thought that its depiction of the United States Marine Corps bulldog's testicles on the back was too much.

The front read, "If you are not the lead dog," and the back read, "The view never changes."

Controversy over school dress codes heightened last August when Pami Gibbs, the mother of a Stockton, Calif. elementary student, was arrested for physically attacking her son's school principal.

Gibbs allegedly punched Fillmore Elementary School principal Evangelina Ramos several times after Ramos told Gibbs' 9-year-old son that he had to turn his shirt inside out because it had skulls and crossbones on it -- violating the dress code.

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