'It's A Matter Of Patriotism': Father Speaks Out After Girls Banned From Wearing U.S. Air Force Sweatshirts At School

| by Sean Kelly
girl in U.S. Air Force sweatshirtgirl in U.S. Air Force sweatshirt

Two twin girls in Texas were disciplined by their school district for wearing an Air Force logo, citing the fact that it violated dress code.

On Oct. 7, Kaidence and Abigail Rolen, both 11 years old, wore sweatshirts to Aubrey Middle School in North Texas that displayed large U.S. Air Force logos on them, NBC 5 News reported. Aubrey Independent School District Superintendent Debby Sanders said the logos violated dress code, and the girls were instructed not to wear the logos anymore.

“Students are allowed to wear solid color 'hoodies' that have logos (including military logos) that are smaller than 1 1/2-inch by 1 1/2-inch," Sanders said in a statement to NBC 5. "Students are welcome to wear outerwear that may have larger logos to and from school, on the bus, to games and after-school activities, but they must be left in lockers during the school day."

Phillip Rolen, the girls’ father, is an Air Force veteran who said he wasn’t happy with the school’s request to refrain from wearing the logos.

“I have a little bit of a rebellious streak in me, so when I spoke to the principal I told her they're going to be wearing them still,” he told NBC 5. “I'm hoping the district will use common sense, but we're not going to back down from this."

For Phillip, the issue is deeply personal and stems from a long history of military service.

“I'm from a very patriotic family,” he said. “My wife and I met in the Air Force. The girls were born on an Air Force base.”

The father added that he plans to continue letting his daughters wear the logos to school, no matter if it leads to disciplinary action or if they have to find another school.

“I'm just not going to raise my kids where they're going to tip-toe around their patriotism and their civics,” he said. “We don't disagree with dress codes. It's a matter of civics and it's a matter of patriotism."

Sanders said the issue has nothing to do with the Air Force but rather is simply a violation of dress code.

“Aubrey ISD wholeheartedly supports the men and women who currently serve and have served our nation in military service," Sanders' statement to NBC 5 said. "Aubrey ISD has a student dress code to follow, just as our military personnel are expected to wear uniforms.

“The dress code, which has been in place for over a decade, instills pride, discipline and levels the playing field for students to allow them to focus on learning."

Sources: NBC 5 News, CBS DFW / Photo credit: NBC 5 News