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Sat Aug 17, 2019, 08:32 PM

So What Would You Do If Your 13 Year Old Student Came to Class

Wearing a tRump hoodie? I mean a hoodie picturing tRump riding on top of a tank and his name all over the place?

Yes, it happened yesterday.

36 replies, 2473 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply So What Would You Do If Your 13 Year Old Student Came to Class (Original post)
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 OP
trc Aug 2019 #1
Sneederbunk Aug 2019 #2
2naSalit Aug 2019 #8
jberryhill Aug 2019 #3
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 #9
jberryhill Aug 2019 #10
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 #12
jberryhill Aug 2019 #15
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 #17
jberryhill Aug 2019 #20
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 #23
RockRaven Aug 2019 #4
Skittles Aug 2019 #5
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 #13
VarryOn Aug 2019 #6
tymorial Aug 2019 #7
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 #11
procon Aug 2019 #14
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2019 #30
bluedigger Aug 2019 #16
YOHABLO Aug 2019 #18
True Dough Aug 2019 #19
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 #21
jberryhill Aug 2019 #22
ProudLib72 Aug 2019 #24
jberryhill Aug 2019 #25
pbmus Aug 2019 #26
jberryhill Aug 2019 #27
True Dough Aug 2019 #28
YOHABLO Aug 2019 #31
TygrBright Aug 2019 #29
Chemisse Aug 2019 #32
malthaussen Aug 2019 #33
hunter Aug 2019 #34
geralmar Aug 2019 #35
Niagara Aug 2019 #36

Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 08:35 PM

1. You ignore it.

But now you know who his parents are and how they will react to any discipline of their son.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 08:36 PM

2. Was it a toilet tank?

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:17 PM

8. LOL!!

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 08:36 PM

3. Teach the day's lesson?

 

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:34 PM

9. Well obviously that's what I did

But I wondered if it constituted "inappropriate" attire. Don't worry, I'm not going to call out the kid for a hoodie.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:37 PM

12. Yessiree it's a public school

In a very red county.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #12)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:40 PM

15. If the garment is otherwise acceptable

 

Then I don’t see the issue.

https://www.newsweek.com/student-ordered-home-over-trump-slogan-t-shirt-wins-25k-and-apology-school-1041093

An Oregon high school student who was ordered to go home or cover up a T-shirt emblazoned with a message that backed U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policy will be paid compensation and issued with an apology.

——-

Your district have $25,000 sitting around it doesn’t need?

I believe it is inappropriate for a public school to interfere with non-disruptive political speech of a student. I also believe it is counterproductive to one of the purposes of public education itself.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #15)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:48 PM

17. Ok, ok, I get your point

However, the first article has this to say:

The ruling stated simply that schools could not censor a student’s freedom to express himself, simply because the school does not like the message. However, schools do have the ability to rein in some types of speech or behavior if school officials have sufficient evidence that the expression could result in “substantial disruption of the school environment,” or “an invasion of the rights of others.”


Now, throw in the fact that there are Hispanic and Native American students attending the school, and the issue becomes murky. I'm not going to say anything, but what if one of those minority students mentions it? I guess that's when I lean on the principal. She has already said she'll take the blame from parents.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #17)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 11:01 PM

20. There are quite a number of cases in this area

 

Substantial disruption is a question of fact. It is not a vague feeling of "I think other students may be offended by it."

This is an ACLU publication intended for LGBT students who seek to express themselves through clothing at school:

https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_pdf_file/speakingoutwithyourtshirt.pdf

In deciding whether school authorities acted lawfully when punishing a student for wearing a particular t-shirt or forcing a student not to wear a controversial t-shirt, courts rigorously examine the facts of the matter to make sure that what‟s really going on is not flat-out censorship of an unpopular opinion –something the law is clear thatschools can never do. If school authorities claim that a message on a t-shirt will cause a disruption, their fear of disruption must be backed up by facts.

...

Courts are clear that a school‟s concern about other students‟ possible hostile reactions to a message on a t-shirt does not justify censoring it. This point is critical because school officials often try to justify censoring LGBT-positive expression by claiming that they are fearful of disruptions caused by students offended by the expression.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #20)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 11:13 PM

23. Oh sure, it's a major grey area, one that can land a school in legal hot water

Shoot, they try to do away with the problem by mandating school uniforms, but even that doesn't work. There are mini-rebellions using buttons and earrings. I quite agree that the teacher in the article you posted previously acted incorrectly by calling out the student in the Romney shirt. I also agree that this is a two-way street; we can't censor only those clothes that offend our own sensibilities because that jeopardizes all students' freedom of speech.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 08:51 PM

4. Whatever I did, I'd try to be consistent with my previous reactions to analogous behavior

by other students.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:01 PM

5. feel sorry for him

you just know his parents are serious Trump Humpers

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Response to Skittles (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:38 PM

13. I did, Skittles. I did

He seemed fairly intelligent. I'm hoping that he learns some critical thinking skills that help him as his grows older.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:03 PM

6. If political clothing isn't against policy...

Then I’d not say anything. If it’s out of policy, I would send him/her to the asst principal for the grade and let him deal with it.

But...it would be duly noted in my mind.

The parents were foolish sending their kid to school wearing political attire in these divisive times. I’m probably in the minority here, but I believe politics-free zones are appropriate in some places schools being an example. With so many being easily triggered, schooling is complicated enough without muddying things with politics.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:09 PM

7. I would ignore it.

A teacher's own personal political opinion doesnt belong in the classroom.

If the kid starts spewing racist rhetoric then they should be disciplined immediately. Shory, of that the teacher needs to keep their opinions to themselves.

I know this may not be popular here but this is my feeling.

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Response to tymorial (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:35 PM

11. No, I get it. I wasn't about to contribute my opinion

especially on the first day!

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:39 PM

14. Is there school policy on dress codes?

Many schools ban teeshirts with logos and branding, which includes politics and religious motifs. If so then I would have sent him to the office for disapline. Otherwise, in the absence of policy (a serious omission) then you're right to ignore the provacative attempt.

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Response to procon (Reply #14)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 02:41 AM

30. Bingo.

The best kind of school dress code is one that, as you put it, bans logos, brandings, political and religious motifs.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 09:41 PM

16. I suppose it would depend on my subject matter.

It shouldn't be that hard to find examples in almost every discipline to subtly counter program him while properly educating the whole class.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 10:06 PM

18. Ah, but what if that student came to class wearing a hoodie with a swastika on it?

 

Do you ignore that?

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #18)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 10:13 PM

19. My take: Supporting Trump represents free speech, but swastikas represent hate speech

Although the distinction is narrowing and narrowing more every day.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #19)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 11:04 PM

21. I judged his intent. Seriously, I did!

Did he make any trouble during class? No. He answered questions. In fact, he raised his hand and waited to be called on before answering questions. Did he say anything threatening to other students? No. He kept to himself unless I asked everyone to work in groups.

When I was teaching at the community college, the student population was about 95% minority. One professor had a student who wore tRump clothing. Now that was a very different situation. He acted out, and it was clear he was trying to provoke a reaction.

I think I just have to expect this sort of thing now that I'm living and teaching in a very red county. We'll put it down to culture shock.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #21)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 11:11 PM

22. You'd love the facts in Newsom v. Albemarle County School Bd., 354 F.3d 249 (4th Cir. 2003)

 

$150,000 - cha-ching!


https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-4th-circuit/1173598.html

On April 29, 2002, during the student lunch period at Jouett, Elizabeth Pitt (Pitt), an assistant principal at Jouett, observed Newsom, who at the time was a twelve-year-old student in the sixth grade at Jouett, sitting at a table on the opposite side of the cafeteria with his back towards her.1  Pitt's attention was drawn to Newsom by his purple t-shirt, which depicted three black silhouettes of men holding firearms superimposed on the letters “NRA” positioned above the phrase “SHOOTING SPORTS CAMP.” Although the men appear to be aiming their firearms, the t-shirt did not indicate what or whom their targets may be.   The front of the t-shirt bore a smaller but identical version of the men superimposed on the initials “NRA,” but no other writing or symbols.

According to Pitt, she had the immediate impression that the figures were “sharpshooters” which reminded her of the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and other incidents of school-related violence.   As a consequence of her impression, Pitt was immediately concerned over the appropriateness of Newsom's t-shirt in a middle school environment.   Pitt believed that the t-shirt had the potential to disrupt the instructional process since the graphics on the shirt were so large and bold as to be distracting and she feared that Newsom's fellow middle school students would also associate the images with the events at Columbine High School and other incidents of school-related violence.   It was Pitt's judgment that the images on Newsom's t-shirt could also reasonably be interpreted by other middle school students to promote the use of guns.   Pitt felt that the imagery on the t-shirt was at odds with her obligation as a school administrator to discourage and prevent gun-related violence since the images on Newsom's t-shirt conflicted with the message that “Guns and Schools Don't Mix” and had the potential to create confusion among middle school students over the appropriate boundaries between firearms and schools.   Pitt was also aware of at least one prior incident at Jouett when a middle school student brought a firearm to a school function.

According to Pitt, she further explained the inappropriateness of the t-shirt to Newsom in terms she felt he would understand, that the school did not allow alcohol or drugs in the school and did not permit clothing with references to alcohol or drugs.   Similarly, the school did not allow weapons in school nor images of such weapons on student clothing.

...

During the summer of 2002, the student/parent handbook was revised to prohibit students from wearing, inter alia, “messages on clothing, jewelry, and personal belongings that relate to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, weapons, violence, sex, vulgarity, or that reflect adversely upon persons because of their race or ethnic group.”

....

We begin our overbreadth analysis by noting that there simply is no evidence in the record (as the record has developed through the preliminary injunction stage of the case) demonstrating that clothing worn by students at Jouett containing messages related to weapons, nonviolent, nonthreatening, or otherwise, ever substantially disrupted school operations or interfered with the rights of others.   Indeed, there is no evidence that Newsom's t-shirt, let alone any other article of clothing worn by a student that contained a message relating to weapons, ever caused a commotion or was going to cause one at Jouett.   This lack of evidence strongly suggests that the ban on messages related to weapons was not necessary to maintain order and discipline at Jouett.


-----------

Okay, now, that is a shirt depicting people with guns, and a specific school rule prohibiting messages that relate to weapons. In a school. Post Columbine. Still, there was no apparent evidence of such clothing causing a disruption.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #22)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 11:26 PM

24. This is interesting because the rule was in the student handbook

So administration (and teachers, maybe the school board) must have agreed that the prohibition was warranted. In this instance, I believe the assistant principal acted accordingly. Yes, I realize that wasn't your point, but it should still be a consideration. I also realize that part of your point is the subjectivity in "reading" intent of the student and/or the message on the garment. Did the assistant principal consult with the principal or teachers before making the decision? And if three others had agreed with that decision, would it have made a difference in the finding?

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 11:43 PM

25. The decision making structure likely wouldn't have mattered

 


I don't have a particular point, but thought I would link to some of the very rich caselaw in this area.

Whether it's been peace signs, religious stuff, pride flags, or political candidates or movements, each generation seems to find a new way to piss off their teachers with their clothes, hair, or what have you.

But, in the larger scheme of things, a Trump hoodie, if wearing jackets etc. instead of particular types of shirts (or if this is not a shop class which raises additional safety concerns), doesn't twitch the needle.

I wasn't particularly fond of teachers who expressed or clearly sympathized with particular points of view when I was in school, even if they were ones with which I agreed, since I thought it was important that teachers be neutral on things like politics or religion. Teachers in public schools are state actors. If someone can wear it to the DMV, then they should be able to wear it to school.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #25)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 11:53 PM

26. I drew the line at pajamas...Walmart doesn't seem to mind..

The sign in my classrooms always said....

No shirt or shoes....no service

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Response to pbmus (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 12:06 AM

27. People wear them everywhere

 


I went out to the store in sweatpants and Nike slides the other day. I was afraid maybe they'd think I escaped from a nursing home.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 12:08 AM

28. I would have a hard time accepting Trump paraphernalia

in a classroom too, but I'd just have to swallow hard and move on.

I suspect the student is influenced by his parents. Not all teens rebel against all of Mom and Dad's stances. It's possible (probably even likely) that he has been indoctrinated at home.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #19)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 03:30 AM

31. Trump represents hate speech.

 

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 12:37 AM

29. Teach critical thinking skills, data validation awareness, and history. n/t

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 08:38 AM

32. You'd be in pretty hot water with admins if you objected to portrayal of the POS on a hoodie.

Which - in a red region - would be seen as anti-patriotic.

I taught HS science in a very red part of NH for a number of years. I just ignored and avoided politics, was cordial and nonconfrontational when kids said they didn't 'believe in' climate change or evolution, and liked the kids just as much as I would have otherwise (even while knowing in my mind that I would not particularly like them as adults).

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 10:57 AM

33. Not a thing.

What he wears is his business.

-- Mal

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 11:26 AM

34. It would be against school dress codes here.

Kids wear uniforms kindergarten thru eighth grade and the high school dress codes are strict. In middle school no colors are allowed at all, just black and white. Colored shoelaces will get a kid sent to the office.

In high school the rules are written broadly, no unsafe clothing allowed, no clothing disruptive of the educational process. A Trump hoodie would definitely be disallowed under both rules.

This has mostly been a response to gang violence and has overwhelming parent support. Nobody wants their kids shot on the way home from school because they were wearing the wrong clothes.

I attended two high schools before I quit, one with, and one without uniforms. As a teenager it was actually a lot more fun to see what I could get away with in the school requiring uniforms than the school with a thousand mostly affluent suburban white kids who could wear pretty much whatever they wanted from torn jeans and tee shirts to expensive designer clothes.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)


Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 02:48 PM

36. I understand

Several years ago I was slinging hash to junior high students in a public school. It was "hat day" at school and I had a young man who came through my lunch line wearing a MAGA hat. I felt physically ill while serving him and it was my job to be the professional adult toward an obviously influenced and not informed young mind.


It actually reminded me of a time during my sophomore year of high school. We had visited family and went to Grant's Farm in St. Louis. My mom said that I could pick out a t-shirt in the gift shop at Grant's Farm. The t-shirts for sale were mainly all Budweiser advertisements and I knew it would be against the school's dress code policy. I ended up choosing a St. Louis Cardinals t-shirt so that I could wear it to school. During one of my classes, I ended up getting negatively called out by a teacher for my new St. Louis Cardinals t-shirt because "they sucked."


I might have an idea for you. I would ask the Physical Ed. teachers if they have the colored jerseys that they sometimes have kids wear to divide in teams. If they have them available, you could divide your class in teams to play Fact or Crap on the days this student wears his hoodie. If you decide to do this, make sure you have prizes to give out to the winning team.

Fact or Crap is where teams make up both true and false facts and other teams have to determine if these facts are actually Fact (true) or Crap (false). Someone needs to keep score.

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