Star Wars: The Force Awakens is premiering in the U.S. on the 18th. Naturally, there are a lot of fans who are excited about the film. Kids are coming to school wearing Star Wars t-shirts.
Seventh grader Colton Southern was one of those students. He came to school wearing a shirt featuring a storm trooper. So, what could be wrong with that? Well, it was what the storm trooper was carrying that was the issue. He was pictured holding a rifle-like weapon. (Gasp!)
When school officials spotted it, they told Colton to cover up his shirt, because it was in violation of their dress code, which prohibits “symbols oriented toward violence.” KTRK reported:
Joe Southern says his son, Colton, wore a shirt depicting the “Star Wars – The Force Awakens” logo, along with a Storm Trooper holding a weapon, to class Thursday at George Junior High School [in Rosenberg, Texas]. He’s apparently worn it to school several times before without any issue.
On Thursday, though, school officials told Colton the shirt was banned because it has a gun, or at least a picture of what in the movie is a weapon.
“It’s political correctness run amok. You’re talking about a Star Wars t-shirt, a week before the biggest movie of the year comes out. It has nothing to do with guns or making a stand. It’s just a Star Wars shirt,” Southern said.
A spokesperson for Lamar Consolidated Independent School District says the LCISD secondary school handbook spells out potential violations of dress code. The list includes “symbols oriented toward violence.”
Administrators say they did not reprimand the student, though they could have required him to change or assigned him in-school suspension. They say they only required him to zip up his jacket.
Southern says the incident, in his opinion, amounts to a violation of the first amendment. He says the weapon shown is fictional as is the character holding it and that any implication his son would hurt anyone would be incorrect.
“He’s a Boy Scout, active in church, volunteers at Brazos Bend State Park. There’s not a violent bone in his body. He’s just an excited kid for the movie,” said Southern.
It could have been a lot worse. The kid could have gotten suspended. He probably would have if he had disobeyed their orders to cover up his offensive t-shirt.
I’m surprised officials didn’t say something about how that kind of clothing is uncalled for, especially in light of recent mass shootings. They don’t want other students to be “traumatized” by the depiction of a weapon. I wonder if their history books are all scrubbed clean of depictions, drawings and photographs of weaponry.