Civil Liberties

Kindergartener Banned from Wearing U of Michigan T-Shirt in OK City School


From the must-follow Twitter feed of Skip Oliva comes news of a tiny but incredibly outrageous violation of free expression among the kingergarten set.

Yes, it's come to this:

An Oklahoma City kindergartner was forced to turn his University of Michigan shirt inside out last week because it violated a city ban on any apparel not supportive of the state's college teams….

Cooper Barton, 5, comes from a family of Michigan fans. He went to school wearing a maize and blue shirt with "The Big House," the nickname for Michigan's 114,000-seat stadium, written on the front. The school principal made Cooper turn the shirt inside out due to the state policy.

The rule was put in place seven years ago at the suggestion of a "task force" trying to minimize the wearing of gang colors (so prevalent in kindergarten, for sure). But lest you think even that effort makes the smallest bit of sense, chew on this:

On the list of banned items, non-Oklahoma college dress falls directly in between gang symbol haircuts and "satanic cult dress, witchcraft and related symbols."

Full USA Today piece here.

Official dress code here.

I hate the University of Michigan as much as the next person (more, probably, since my older son just started college at Ohio State), but jeebus h. christ, what did we fake putting a man on the moon for again? Wasn't it precisely to let our kids wear whatever stupid T-shirt that's clean that day to failing public schools?

Blast from the past: In the mid-90s—the 1990s—censors in Oklahoma City succeeded in getting the Oscar-winning The Tin Drum, a movie about German historical guilt for World War II, categorized as child pornography. Read all about it.

Bonus blast from the past: Remembering the time when the University of Oklahoma football team was a criminal gang.