The 5-year-old kindergarten student who was told to turn his University of Michigan T-shirt inside out will be receiving a hero's welcome at an upcoming Michigan football game.
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon called Cooper Barton and his family Wednesday, inviting them to the UM-UMass game Sept. 15 in Ann Arbor, Mich., all expenses paid. He's also planning to introduce Cooper to the 109,000-plus crowd at Michigan Stadium, and is sending the boy some spirited gifts.
"This is, as you will see, is a Michigan football T-shirt that we're going to send to Cooper," Brandon said at a press conference Wednesday while holding up a shirt made specially for the boy. "But what I want you to understand about this T-shirt is when you turn it inside-out, you get another Michigan T-shirt. To hell with those people in Oklahoma!"
The kindergartner was told to turn his shirt inside-out at school last week because it violated Oklahoma City Public Schools' dress code, which 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)."
The policy was written in 2005 as part of an effort to curb gang activity. District officials have expressed their intent to review the policy to determine if changes should be made.
Since news of the incident spread, Cooper's family has received widespread support that Cooper's parents say is "amazing," the Detroit Free Press reports. But it's not just limited to UM, and the Bartons say they're "thrilled."
"Even the Ohio State fans, if you can believe that, have been supportive and sent us nice messages," Cooper's mother Shannon Barton told News9.
News 9 was with the family during Brandon's surprise call. Watch the station's report above and the athletic director's press conference below.