A Northern California mother was upset after her 12-year-old son recently received a dress code violation at his middle school related to an American flag T-shirt he was wearing.
Lori Carpenter first knew something was wrong when her son Dustin came home from Yuba Gardens Intermediate school wearing the patriotic top inside out, KTLA sister station KTXL reported on Tuesday. The school is located in Olivehurst, which is north of Sacramento.
"I asked him why," Carpenter told the television station in an interview. "He said he was 'dress coded' at school because the stars were gang related."
Carpenter bought the shirt at Kohl's for her son during the back-to-school shopping season. But a school official told the station it was possibly a safety risk because of the red star on the top.
"Our local gang task force, they identify colors, they identify designs, they identify all of the things that we should be aware of," said Ramior Carreon, Assistant Superintendent at Marysville Joint Unified School District. "That design has been associated with gangs in the past, and we cannot just turn a blind eye to that."
The boy's mother believed, however, that the school went too far.
"I mean, they are trying to keep everybody safe. I understand, but it feels like it is a little too far. Especially when it is a patriotic shirt," Carpenter told KTXL. "It's just kind of ridiculous"
She said her son, an honor student, had previously never been in trouble at school.