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.

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  1. Speaking of censorship (I won’t be here for the morning links so have to force it in here):

    “The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them.”
    — Sam Harris, The End of Faith

  2. The school principal made Cooper turn the shirt inside out due to the state policy.

    That’s outrageous! Everybody knows inside-out shirts are gang apparel.

    1. No, inside-out shirts are a satanic [SATAN] symbol.
      Wearing your underwear outside your pants is gang apparel.
      Don’t get me started on the crazy ways kids cut their hair nowadays.

      1. Thanks, Bardas. I try to stay current with the fashion statements, but … well, this modern world!

        1. Juggalos are both Satanic AND a gang. It’s like having your (baby) cake and eating it too!

          1. Juggalos are both Satanic AND a gang.

            So, *they* support the University of Michigan?

            1. They are from Detroit.

              1. Not everyone from Detroit supports Michigan. Some of us don’t even care about football, or whatever it is they play there in that big house.

            2. The Michigan State fanbase consists of a far higher proportion of Juggalos than does Michigan’s.

          2. I think we can all agree that baby juggalos get a pass for being so adorable.

      2. What is it when you wear a tank top as a pair of shorts?

        (besides “getto”)

  3. Fuck Ohio State and OU.

    1. So which are you: a Michigan dead-ender, an SEC homer, or a graduate of an irrelevant school?

      1. A graduate of the second winningest program in 1A history.

        I’ve been to games against Ohio State and I’ve been to a game against Michigan. The Ohio State fans, citizens, and cops of Columbus were the worst, bar none, I’ve ever experienced. And second place isn’t really close. There are still buildings closed on game day in Austin because of what the Ohio State fans did to them.

        1. The Ohio State fans, citizens, and cops of Columbus were the worst, bar none, I’ve ever experienced.

          That runs counter to 99% of everyone else’s reported experience.

          Did you ever consider the problem might have been you rather than everyone else?

          1. I’ve been to Texas games against every Big 12 school, ND, several SEC and PAC 12 schools, and numerous random schools throughout the country. With the exception of Texas losses in Lubbock and the random asshat, I’ve never had trouble at any of those games. Ohio State fans were non-stop pricks from the time my plane landed until my plane left. I don’t think I was the problem.

            Also, I guess you’re including the Ohio State president in the 1%, since she wrote a public apology letter over the behavior surrounding that game. Good try, though.

            1. Also, I guess you’re including the Ohio State president in the 1%, since she wrote a public apology letter over the behavior surrounding that game. Good try, though.

              Because a school President would never do or say what is politically and socially expedient.

              1. Why would it be politically and socially expedient if the Ohio State fans were little angels?

          2. That runs counter to 99% of everyone else’s reported experience.

            Did you ever consider the problem might have been you rather than everyone else?

            I’m guessing he went to Columbus for the 2005 UT / OSU game that the refs all but handed to UT with a phantom PI on 4th and long late in the 4th quarter. I’d have been out for the blood of anything in burnt orange that day too, so, considering that most fans are far more rabid than me, it’s understandable that he’d be soured by Columbus if he was stuck there after that day.

            I went to the OSU / PSU in Happy Valley later that year that the Buckeyes lost. That was the least gracious group of winners I’d ever seen at any sporting event.

            1. I’m guessing he went to Columbus for the 2005 UT / OSU game that the refs all but handed to UT with a phantom PI on 4th and long late in the 4th quarter.

              Close. In the game I attended, the pass interference call was on a 1st and 10, occurred on Texas’ end of the field, and still required Texas to drive the ball 52 yards down Ohio State’s throat to get the win. Which Texas did.

            2. You can see the “phantom” call here, starting at around 47:00. Everett clearly impedes Brian Carter after biting hard on the out part of the out-and-up, possibly preventing a TD catch and run.


              You can also see the retard Buckeye fan with the upside-down Hook ’em and the “I hate Texas” t-shirt.

              1. I was wrong about the down, but that was a phantom call if ever there was one: it’s a borderline illegal contact call at best and VY air mailed the throw. Complete bail out by the refs, but you are correct that OSU still could have (and probably should have) stopped them.

                Likewise, OSU deserved to lose that game simply for playing Zwick against a non-MAC opponent.

        2. three letters, nighthawk: LSU. Bar none, the single most obnoxious collections of fans on the planet. Closest I ever came to a fight at a game was with them, at our place no less. And my school is party to the country’s most overheated rivalry. Oddly enough, never had a problem with the rival’s fans; we busted each other’s balls, shook hands afterward, and drove on.

          1. You know who has some pretty cool fans? TAMU. I remember when they came to Clemson a few years ago. That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had before and after a game.

          2. You two have obviously never come across West Virginia fans.

            1. I know them all too well. Unfortunately the result of the Orange Bowl prohibits me from saying anything.

            2. I will this season.

            3. This was my submission for the “Worst Fans” category.

          3. I’ve only been to one game against LSU. They were all “Tiger Bait” before the game and all “Let’s GTFO of here” after Roy Williams almost single-handedly beat their ass.

            They were annoying and there’s no doubt that the freakishly early game time tempered attitudes on both sides, but it was a pretty fun deal.

            We had cops in Columbus tell us — and by “us” I mean “numerous groups of fans, not just mine” — that we just needed to take off the burnt orange and get out of town. We had unopened cans and bottles of beer being thrown from frat houses/apartments on the way out. They were just batshit crazy. Maybe Baton Rouge is like that after a night game, too, but I haven’t been there for one.

            I went to the Auburn game at Jordan-Hare back in the day (and the one in Austin where Jerry Gray ran down Bo Jackson) and it was a blast.

      2. hating the SEC because it is simply better than the other leagues is not a good argument.

        1. Where did I say that is what I was doing?

          1. why is “SEC homer” one of the categories one of the categories for disliking either OSU or OU? For the typical SEC person, they’re schools with respected programs but irrelevant in a day to day sense.

            1. Maybe because “SEC Homer” is a pretty fair descriptor of every fucking Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss, MSU, (until recently) Arkansas, Georgia and Vandy fan when it comes to a message board discussing any particular team vs an SEC team.

              If you go on a board and start talking about a 8-1 Buckeyes team being better than a 8-1 Florida team in early November, you’ll get a bunch of SEC Homers that point out how much better the conference is and that tOSU wouldn’t even be 5-4 there and they are so much better than everybody else. Calling them “SEC Homers” is apt because you won’t see Indiana and Minnesota fans running to the side of the Buckeyes to defend the conference flag.*

              For some reason, most of the people from SEC country are so happy to see their rivals win MNG games, whereas if scUM won one, you’d not see the same glee in Columbus or Bloomington.

              *When their SOS is based on smoke and mirrors of the preseason rankings and a bunch of OOC games against in-state opponents that are either third rate Sun Belt squads or are a team living off their past deeds as Free Shoes University.

              1. I’ll disagree with you. Two years ago, there were numerous “Roll Ducks” tees sold to the bama tribe, and a whole lotta folks from my side were ready to adopt the Honey Badger last year. On a broader scale, you may be right; fans tend the embrace the conference as a whole despite dislike of individual schools.

              2. Actually watched the 1982 Stanford vs. tOSU game on ESPN Classic yesterday. It was played in Columbus. The fans were watching the scoreboard following the scores from around the NCAA, particularly the UCLA vs. Michigan game. Michigan got out to an early 21-0 lead over UCLA. UCLA mounted a comeback, and everytime they posted the score in Ohio Stadium, the place would erupt in cheering. UCLA went on to win 28-21. Keith Jackson had to explain it everytime.

                Bottom line: there is no Big Ten homerism. And fuck Michigan.

                1. You guys and Nick can all go suck it.

                  Oh, and best of luck to the Buckeyes in their bowl game this year. Part of me wants OSU to go 11-1 this year (with their only loss to Michigan, of course) so that they will always have to wonder what they might have accomplished this year had they not been given a slap on the wrist by the NCAA for being a dirty team.

                  Also, Night Elf Mohawk’s description of OSU fans is pretty much in line with what many Michigan fans have encountered. Michigan may give OSU fans a lot of shit, but they won’t threaten their safety. The same cannot be said of OSU fans. Those guys are pathological.

                  FYI – The OSU/UT game is also the genesis of the “cooler pooper” moniker for OSU fans.

  4. This is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, that it happened in Oklahoma instead of Ohio.

    1. I wonder what they do to kids who wear Texas stuff?

      1. They don’t teach them even more than they don’t teach the kids wearing Crimson and Cream.*

        *I swear, they call OU’s colors Crimson and Cream, as if the word “cream” is something to fear.

      2. Public Stoning is the usual punishment for Texas Apparel around here.

  5. People can be so touchy. I mean, one time when I was working as a cook the manager asked me to turn my shirt inside out because it was offensive.
    I asked what the big fat hairy deal was.
    What’s offensive about a White Zombie concert shirt with “666 Muthafucka” emblazoned in dripping red on the back?

    1. What’s offensive about a White Zombie concert shirt with “666 Muthafucka”

      Poor spelling?

    2. you don’t suppose the mutha fucka part tweaked the manager’s radar, do you?

      1. Some uptight waitress complained. I don’t think the manager personally cared.

        1. because no one ever used that term, with the r’s included, in the kitchen right?

          Strange how things people get the vapors today over things that were barely noticed not that long ago. My stepdaughters love zombies.

          1. This was back in the 90s, before the zombie craze. 1996 I believe. The shirt was from the Zombie / Pantera tour. Great show.

            1. the girls would still love the shirt just because it says zombie. That it was for a band would make it better. Their mama raised little rocker chicks.

          2. Strange how things people get the vapors today over things that were barely noticed not that long ago.

            Yes. When I was in 8th grade, a kid was instantly suspended for coming to school with a mohawk. The grocery cashier has one at work now, and no one blinks an eye.

            I consider it progress. Why cares about hair?

            1. For same reason cares about grammar. (I don’t actually care about hair but instead care about taking cheap shots at your typing skillz.)

              1. interesting how the letter Z instantly makes words cooler and more fun.

              2. Scotland has made you cruel, woman.

            2. I feel bad for kids today. An over-the-top hair style was the cheapest way to rebel and seek attention, now it is just common place.

    3. A manager told a cook who showed up to work with a shirt on to turn it inside out? Was it an open kitchen?

  6. Oklahoma is also the state where a second(subsequent) offense simple possession of any amount of marijuana is a felony punishable by 2-10 years incarceration.

  7. S-E-C!! S-E-C!!

  8. both of my siblings went to UofM. Even though I was accepted, I declined – too many hippies.

    1. on another note, I never quite understood the average UofM fan, rooting for a semi-elite school that they could never afford to send their kids to. They should be State fans!

      1. and THAT is why the OH State/Mich rivalry is over-rated, the presence of a prominent 3rd party. Same thing with Carolina/Duke; a whole lotta folks at another school in Raleigh often hope both the others lose.

        1. and THAT is why the OH State/Mich rivalry is over-rated, the presence of a prominent 3rd party.

          If the OSU-UM rivalry is “overrated”, then every rivalry is overrated.

          1. it gets a false sense of importance, kinda like Yankees/Red Sox. Folks in East Lansing could give a damn. When a big chunk of one of the states involved does not care, its importance is diminished.

            1. The scUM-tOSU rivalry will always be bigger and more important than the bama-Aubun one because their alumni base is much larger, there isn’t as much to do in the upper midwest in the wintertime and the fans in the rest of the region actually care about it.

              Seriously, and I said this the other day, people would fill a titty bar in Ceiba, PR to watch that game 15 years ago, they’d fill bars in Augusta, GA, they’d fill bars in Roanoke and Richmond, VA and they even fill a bar in Visalia, CA every year to watch that game. I know, because I have experienced it first-hand every year for the last 20. I couldn’t even get a fleeting interest from fans in Augusta for the bama-Auburn game, but if I mentioned tOSU maybe being better than the Bulldogs, they trotted out the whole “SEC is better” schtick.

              The SEC is a great conference and the Iron Bowl is a hell of a rivalry, but to equate or even elevate bama-Auburn over tOSU-scUM is on a holocaust-denier level of retard.

              Nay, it is worse than holocaust-denial or cannibalism.

              1. the IB trumps the rest by far. There is no Mich St to factor in, there is no cadre of NFL fans who don’t care for college ball to consider, there is no hockey crowd that doesn’t even like football.

                There are no other sports in the South, not really. UK plays hoops, the rest of the league plays at it. The NFL is, relatively speaking, still new when compared to the college game. The whole state doesn’t just stop for the Iron Bowl, it talks about it for the next 364 days.

                I grant you it may insular, but it makes the Hatfields/McCoys look tame.

    2. Is there anybody at State that doesn’t claim to have been accepted at Michigan?

      I do agree that there are too many hippies there, but it was a hell of a place to go to school (twice).

  9. The college team hatred is one of those things it is really hard to explain to foreigners. Why do I hate Duke, for example? Other than the fact that it is the only correct moral stance?

    Also, I don’t know who this Skip Oliva character is but he sure knows a lot about Quebec politics. Props.

    1. But…you are a foreigner. Also, you had better hate the fucking Steelers.

      1. I am an exceptionally tricksy foreigner who picked up on your American ways. Can’t do the top-notch jerb stealin’ unless you assimilate.

        I do hate the Steelers, and not just because of the 2006 Superbowl, although that doesn’t hurt.

        1. So you hate the Steelers and Duke…and you have to explain this hatred? To other people?

      2. My FIL gave my son a fucking Steelers onesie with socks to match.

        1. Did you burn it in front of him?

    2. Why do I hate Duke, for example?

      Because you are good person.

      1. Yes, if you want to explain to foreigners why you hate Duke, tell them it’s for the same reason people hate Osama Bin Laden. Or Satan.

        1. I generally use domestic serial killers, but the principle is basically the same.

    3. As USC grad, I rightly despise UCLA and Notre Dame but I can’t imagine being obnoxious about it. Every time I’ve visited the UCLA campus I was too distracted by pretty scenery and pretty girls to be hateful. (I would guess a Bruin would have the same reaction on the USC campus).

      And I certainly haven’t visited ND – It’s somewhere far away I couldn’t find on a map.

  10. Pshaw, white people problems.

  11. Oh, for fuck’s cocksucking sake.

  12. Doesn’t this also discriminate against the retarded…a protected class?

    File an ADA suit on these mofos!

  13. so basically, OK is the single most insular state going. Or does any other have ridiculous bans on clothing that supports out of state schools?

  14. There’s a reason my so much of flyover country is best appreciated by plane.

    1. Yeah, because the liberty loving coast dwellers would never think of banning Happy Meal toys or drinks over 16 oz.

      Stupid isn’t only found in “flyover country”.

      1. If I had a store or a restaurant in NYC I think that I would have to sell a special handle to allow you to hold two 16 oz. drinks in one hand. It would be called the Bloomberg.

  15. Every time I see “incredibly outrageous” and “University of Michigan” in the same sentence, I figure they’re just talking about our inflated rank. Now God’s Team, on the other hand…

  16. True story: My daughter’s third grade teacher was a huge OU team, and would regularly give a point of extra credit for students who would write OU as an answer to questions like “What is the greatest college football team in the world.” All of the students would take the credit except for my daughter, who picked Michigan every time, and another kid, who was a huge Arkansas fan.

  17. I scored tix to the Ohio State -U.A.B. game! Woohoo! Damn I hate those (wait, looking it up now…)uh, Blazers! (Blazers? WTF?)

    1. I got tickets to the OSU-UCF game. I’ve been reading some positive expectations of the UCF … uh, … Knights … football team. Yeah, because when I think of central Florida, I think of knights. Did they get their team name from a Medieval Times franchise?

  18. I guess that that rules out wearing such All-American gang shirts as those promoting the service academies: Army, Navy, Air Force.

    1. of course, it does. Those groups promote killing and other bad things. Good grief; next thing, you’ll be advocating for shirts with street gang names on them.

  19. I think you’re right.

    If Texas ships Rick Perry to Oklahoma, it would raise the IQ of both states. (just for the record)

  20. Amazing! I was just in OKC and proudly wearing my Boise State Tie. I’m glad I did not get arrested, or worse!

  21. I’m normally against the Death Penalty, but in this case…

  22. Nick, I lived in Alabama, and thought they had the market on college fanatics cornered. I’m sorry to be wrong.

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