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When Oregon 8th-grader Alan Holmes was deciding what to wear to school one morning, he had no clue what a big deal it would be—and apparently it was a very big deal. So big that Holmes ended up getting suspended over it.
The shirt in question? It's a grey T-shirt printed with the words "Standing for Those Who Stood for Us," which seems like a typical patriotic shirt. But it was the illustration on the shirt that caught the school administrations' eyes. There's a pair of combat boots with a rifle standing inside which is holding up a helmet—aka a traditional soldier memorial. While there's nothing wrong with honoring soldiers, the picture of the rifle is against Dexter McCarty Middle School policy which states "clothing promoting alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or violence" and "clothing containing objectionable language or symbols, including weapons" are prohibited on school campus.
The principal then gave Holmes the option of either changing his shirt or facing an in-school suspension, and Holmes chose the suspension. From the boy's perspective, he can't understand what the big fuss was about. He was just trying to support his older brother, who is a Marine. As Holmes tells KATU, "I was just upset. I was heartbroken. My brother, he means everything for me. Just being able to help and give back to the people who fought and died for us it just makes me feel good."
And he understands why such a rule is in place, especially in light of a slew of recent school shootings, but maintains that the image on his shirt "isn't relating to violence."
What do you think? Did the principal do the right thing?