Two students from a Mississippi high school are upset after they were told their “Patriotic Day” apparel broke the designated dress code.
H.W. Byers High School’s “Patriotic Day,” which fell on the 12th anniversary of 9/11, was held as part of the school’s spirit week. Students were told they could either wear a white shirt containing an image of the American flag, or their regular school uniform, superintendent of Marshall County Schools Jerry Moore told The Huffington Post.
However, after about five students broke the dress code, they were called down to the principal’s office and were told they should have their parents bring them a different shirt.
Two of those students are upset because they say they feel their shirts embodied the patriotic sprit of the day, according to local outlet WREG-TV. Student Kelton Stewart wore a blue shirt that said “America, land of the free, home of the brave” in white writing, while Clay Earnest wore a white shirt with the words "U.S. Pride" on the back.
“We’re remembering people from September 11th in the Twin Towers,” Kelton told WREG-TV. “If you’re going to wear something to do with your country and the colors are red, white and blue, then why are you being told you can’t wear the red, white and blue when you come to school.”
However, Moore told HuffPost that students were told to change simply because their outfits did not follow code.
“We were not trying to deny patriotism in any shape,” Moore said over the phone. “We simply put a rule out there and some students did not follow it.”
Following the incident, Moore said he did not know if the school will hold a “Patriotic Day” next year.
“This caused a lot of controversy so we will rethink that,” Moore said. “I don’t want to punish the whole group for any events that took place or for a few not being in compliance but we also have to protect instructional time.”