Shirts handed out by a New York Army National Guard recruiter on Friday were banned from Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School this week because the gun featured on the shirt violates the school’s dress code.
School officials said the shirt with a logo of a silhouetted soldier aiming a rifle is inappropriate and “not pertinent to education.” They asked the National Guard to stop distributing the shirts at the Ravena school.
"They're not allowed to wear anything that would have a weapon on it," District Interim Superintendent Alan McCartney told the Times Union.
"Our main purpose is education,” he said. “Wearing pictures of weapons brings to mind those things in our society that are not pertinent to education.”
(via Times Union)
Parent Jennifer Delisle told WRBG that students were outraged that the recruiter was told to stop handing out shirts and that students wearing them were asked to take them off. But McCartney said students wearing the shirts on Friday were allowed to keep them on. Instead, they were asked never to wear them to school again.
"As a mother, when I first saw the shirt, I saw the American flag, the silhouette of the solider, I didn't even notice the gun and the children I've talked to said it had nothing to do with the gun being on it, it had to do with the honor and respect to the National Guard," DeLisle said.
The dress code prohibits clothing that promotes or endorses alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco or any illegal or violent activities. McCartney said the rule "has nothing to do with patriotism, nothing to do with anybody disliking the military, it has nothing to do with the recruiter himself, it just has to do with the fact that there was a weapon on the shirt and that just doesn't have a place in a high school.”
National Guard spokesman Col. Richard Goldenberg says they listened and stopped handing out shirts.
"We did it right on the spot,” Goldenberg said.
The recruiter, who wasn’t identified, returned to the school on Tuesday to speak with students about the dress code issue.
McCartney said they also discussed other ways students can show patriotism, for instance some students volunteered to clean up a monument on campus.
"The negative became a big learning experience and a positive," he said.
Image Credit: Army National Guard logo, The Daily Caller