Friday, August 24, 2012

Things That Make You Go…

LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE! (Family photo)

Last week, the principal at Wilson Elementary in Oklahoma City asked 5-year-old Cooper Barton to turn his University of Michigan t-shirt inside-out.

The boy's mother says her son was told he was only allowed to wear an Oklahoma or Oklahoma State shirt to Kindergarten class.

In fact, the dress code for Oklahoma City Public Schools states that only Oklahoma college apparel is allowed. Clothes from all out-of-state schools are against current policy.

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

"We don't want to villain-ize the principal or the school because the school is fantastic, but the rule in itself is absurd," Chris Barton said.

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.

The story of what had happened to Cooper caught fire among Michigan fans, prompting University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon to call the Barton family on Wednesday to invite them to a game at Ann Arbor’s stadium, popularly dubbed the “Big House.” Brandon offered to have Cooper introduced to the cheering masses as they face the University of Massachusetts on Sept. 15.

At a press conference Wednesday, Brandon presented a t-shirt for Cooper that even when turned inside out, still sports the Michigan logo.

As noted above, the original rule was reportedly aimed at curtailing gang activity in Oklahoma schools, but we all really know it was to keep some Okie renegades from wearing Longhorn gear to class…

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