About 75 students at Friendly High School in Maryland were given in-school suspensions for wearing pink to school Friday in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Washington Post reports.
Students who chose to wear pink instead of their school uniforms said they were sent to a classroom and told they would receive an unexcused absence and zeros for their classes. But a spokesman for the school, Max Pugh, told the Washington Post the students would be excused for missing class and would be able to make up any missed work.
Raynah Adams, principal of the Fort Washington, Md. school, told students Tuesday they could not hold their annual “Pink Out,” despite holding it the past two years.
According to students, Adams said the event would violate the school’s uniform policy and cause security concerns.
Nonetheless, some students chose to come to school wearing pink shirts, sweaters and others with pink ribbons painted on their cheeks.
Jenae Foreman, a senior, is familiar with the seriousness of breast cancer and said she didn’t understand the school’s reaction to the “Pink Out” event. Foreman told the Washington Post both her aunt and grandmother died of breast cancer.
“I was shocked,” she said. “It wasn’t a riot. It was a for a cause… we were just paying reverence.”
But the school had made other alternative plans on how to participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pugh said that Adams ordered pink ribbons last week so that all students could be a part of the breast-cancer awareness effort. Adams planned to let the students wear the ribbons on their uniforms next Tuesday, he said.
When several students arrived at school wearing pink last Tuesday, the school had a limited number of shirts to give out so some could attend class. The rest of the students were not so lucky and were placed on in-school suspension, he said.
Syndi Wilson, a junior who was given in-school suspension, said she was disappointed by the way the school handled the situation and said that it draws focus away from raising awareness of breast cancer.
“I didn’t do this for myself,” Wilson said. “Its for everybody – anybody who has lost a loved one to breast cancer.”
Source: Washington Post