Video: Teen ordered to remove NRA T-shirt for “promoting violence”

posted at 6:41 pm on October 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

This isn’t the Los Angeles Unified School District, either, but a school in relatively conservative Orange County that seems to have a strange and inconsistent notion of stamping out images of firearms. Sophomore Haley Bullwinkle had already worn the NRA t-shirt she received as a gift from her father to her high school several times without anyone questioning her about it. Last week, though, she got sent to the principal’s office and was told she had to remove it because the T-shirt from the nation’s largest gun-safety instruction organization promoted gun violence.

What about the school’s drill team, Haley’s father wondered, which twirls fake rifles? And for that matter, the school’s mascot — a Native American warrior?

Principal Kimberly Fricker responded in an email, which said, in part, “The shirt had a gun on it, which is not allowed by school police. It’s protocol to have students change when they’re in violation of the dress code.”

The girl’s father, who has retained an attorney, now wants to know how the school defines violence. He said the drill team is allowed to twirl fake rifles and the mascot is a Comanche.

“I think that if you consider the hunter, the image of the hunter to be offensive, certainly there are groups that would consider the Comanche Indian chief to be offensive,” he said.

Well, mostly busybody groups that largely don’t include Native Americans among their supporters, but that’s beside the point at the moment.  While schools certainly have a right to set dress codes, the idea that an NRA shirt would lead to violence is patently absurd and completely irrational.  If the school doesn’t want T-shirts advocating any organization other than the school, that might be a reasonable standard, but it doesn’t get to single out legitimate groups just on the basis of political unpopularity, especially with the absurd argument that the NRA promotes gun violence.

This clearly looks like an attempt to impose political correctness on students rather than consistent and reasonable discipline, and yet another example of zero tolerance replacing adult judgment and responsible stewardship in public schools.

Update: The school district apologized to the student and told the school to back off. I have the update in the Green Room.


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If the shirt had a bow and arrow…

Racism?

patman77 on October 3, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Principal Kimberly Fricker responded in an email

Female in power at a school–yeah, no chance she is a Lib…/

hillsoftx on October 3, 2013 at 6:45 PM

minister, applied for a gun permit, but the Alabama authorities found him unsuitable. A decade later, he won a Nobel Peace Prize.

How’s that “may issue” gun permit policy working for you?

The NRA opposed these discretionary gun permit laws and proceeded to grant NRA charters to blacks who sought to defend themselves from Klan violence — including the great civil rights hero Robert F. Williams.

A World War II Marine veteran, Williams returned home to Monroe, N.C., to find the Klan riding high — beating, lynching and murdering blacks at will. No one would join the NAACP for fear of Klan reprisals. Williams became president of the local chapter and increased membership from six to more than 200.

But it was not until he got a charter from the NRA in 1957 and founded the Black Armed Guard that the Klan got their comeuppance in Monroe.

Williams’ repeated thwarting of violent Klan attacks is described in his stirring book, “Negroes With Guns.” In one crucial battle, the Klan sieged the home of a black physician and his wife, but Williams and his Black Armed Guard stood sentry and repelled the larger, cowardly force. And that was the end of it.

As the Klan found out, it’s not so much fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.

The NRA’s proud history of fighting the Klan has been airbrushed out of the record by those who were complicit with the KKK, Jim Crow and racial terror, to wit: the Democrats.

Of course democrats would oppose something that aids the independence of black Americans.

Murphy9 on October 3, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Don’t be so sure, the girl could have folded that shirt into the shape of a gun and performed a bloody duel with another kid who nibbled his Pop Tart into the shape of a pistol.

Bishop on October 3, 2013 at 6:46 PM

That school would’ve had a field day with some of the shirts I used to wear to school.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 3, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Zero tolerance for freedom.

Galt2009 on October 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM

And president jugears talked about having a gun to your head.

Gabby Gifford, please pick up the White House courtesy phone.

platypus on October 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM

0

“holding a gun to the head of the American people”

Bmore on October 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM

minister, applied for a gun permit, but the Alabama authorities found him unsuitable. A decade later, he won a Nobel Peace Prize.

How’s that “may issue” gun permit policy working for you?

The NRA opposed these discretionary gun permit laws and proceeded to grant NRA charters to blacks who sought to defend themselves from Klan violence — including the great civil rights hero Robert F. Williams.

A World War II Marine veteran, Williams returned home to Monroe, N.C., to find the Klan riding high — beating, lynching and murdering blacks at will. No one would join the NAACP for fear of Klan reprisals. Williams became president of the local chapter and increased membership from six to more than 200.

But it was not until he got a charter from the NRA in 1957 and founded the Black Armed Guard that the Klan got their comeuppance in Monroe.

Williams’ repeated thwarting of violent Klan attacks is described in his stirring book, “Negr0es With Guns.” In one crucial battle, the Klan sieged the home of a black physician and his wife, but Williams and his Black Armed Guard stood sentry and repelled the larger, cowardly force. And that was the end of it.

As the Klan found out, it’s not so much fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.

The NRA’s proud history of fighting the Klan has been airbrushed out of the record by those who were complicit with the KKK, Jim Crow and racial terror, to wit: the Democrats.

Of course democrats would oppose something that aids the independence of black Americans.

Murphy9 on October 3, 2013 at 6:50 PM

I would have prefered a more vigorous defense of free speech.

rogerb on October 3, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Another example of educators needing to be educated.

antipc on October 3, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Only tee shirts with skittles and ice tea on them are allowed.

rik on October 3, 2013 at 6:53 PM

From the disbarred, impeached, adulterous, lying, serial rapist himself:

In the name of putting “discipline and learning back in our schools” President Clinton instructed the Federal Education Department today to distribute manuals to the nation’s 16,000 school districts advising them how they can legally enforce a school uniform policy.

“If it means that teen-agers will stop killing each other over designer jackets,” the President said in his weekly radio address, “then our public schools should be able to require their students to require school uniforms.” He repeated the theme in a series of appearances throughout the day, expanding on an idea he mentioned in passing in his State of the Union message.

If it means that the schoolrooms will be more orderly, more disciplined,” Mr. Clinton said, “and that our young people will learn to evaluate themselves by what they are on the inside instead of what they’re wearing on the outside, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms.”

By supporting measures like the school-uniform option, Mr. Clinton is trying to use the President’s bully pulpit in this election year to articulate a moderate Democratic agenda that steps into the area of social issues that have long been the province of Republicans.

Murphy9 on October 3, 2013 at 6:55 PM

fSophomore Haley Bullwinkle….

Is this not the coolest name evah????
Nobody ever accused school administrators of being smart or having common sense.
That said…..moose and squirrel!

RovesChins on October 3, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Don’t be so sure, the girl could have folded that shirt into the shape of a gun and performed a bloody duel with another kid who nibbled his Pop Tart into the shape of a pistol.

Bishop on October 3, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Pointing a t-shirt at classmates while going “pew pew pew”…

Larger picture…the NRA is all about using firearms safely and securely. They promote education on gun use and safety. If anything, an NRA shirt should be welcomed…as opposed to a shirt that might say “Future Gun Rampager”.

JetBoy on October 3, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Female in power at a school–yeah, no chance she is a Lib…/

hillsoftx on October 3, 2013 at 6:45 PM

These stories come around often enough that we know Kimberly Fricker.

She has multiple cats at home even if she doesn’t have some whimp of a husband.

She is a busybody that isn’t content to merely be a competent administrator. She sees it as her mission to change minds through bullying.

She was a lousy teacher, which is why she became a principal.

She is the last one in the school in the mornings and the first one out the door in the evenings.

Happy Nomad on October 3, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Presumably, anyone wearing an SPLC shirt would likewise be sent to the principal’s office.

besser tot als rot on October 3, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Gun shaped pop tart.

RovesChins on October 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM

What if the t-shirt had only a cartoon of a Pop-Tart eaten into the shape of a mountain gun?

Would she still have gotten suspended?

BTW: Has the federal shutdown caused Planned Parenthood to lose its funding or is that deemed ‘essential’?

Resist We Much on October 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Larger picture…the NRA is all about using firearms safely and securely. They promote education on gun use and safety. If anything, an NRA shirt should be welcomed…as opposed to a shirt that might say “Future Gun Rampager”.

JetBoy on October 3, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Homophobe.

Bishop on October 3, 2013 at 7:02 PM

The left is fricking insane.

CW on October 3, 2013 at 7:03 PM

As they teach kids abortion is A- Ok.

Something is really wrong with this picture.

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 3, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Principal Kimberly Fricker responded in an email, which said, in part, “The shirt had a gun on it, which is not allowed by school police.

Who are these school police she speaks of? Are they municipal police working in arrangement with the District, or the District’s employees?

It shouldn’t make a whole lot of difference but I’d sure like to know why it is that the School District doesn’t have control over school policy. I’m going to guess she’s redirecting blame so she doesn’t have to take the heat for what many consider firing offenses.

Dusty on October 3, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Zero brain cells= Zero tolerance

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 3, 2013 at 7:13 PM

“I think that if you consider the hunter, the image of the hunter to be offensive, certainly there are groups that would consider the Comanche Indian chief to be offensive,” he said.

It depends. Does the mascot get to carry a tomahawk, or does he have to carry an Obama-purse.

Dusty on October 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM

http://www.volokh.com/ has some interesting thoughts on this.

Anyone consdier what whould happen if she wore a shirt with the official, U.S. government issued Massachusetts state quarter picture on it?

JackBurtonJr on October 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM

and yet another example of zero tolerance replacing adult judgment and responsible stewardship in public schools.

This isn’t a case of “zero tolerance” of anything reasonable. This is nothing but plain stupidity and anti-Americanism. All of the school staff and administration who participated in this farce deserve to be fired since they’re far too stupid to be able to teach anything to anyone.

Ship the whole crew to Venezuela. They’d love it there. It’s their kind of commie place. Tell them to pack lots of toilet paper.

Despicable, lying scumbags. It’s what the left are. It’s what they will always be. And they must force their own despicable, lying scumbag stupidity on everyone and everything around them, which is why no decent person can live with too many of these leftist scum around. Adios, dirtballs.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 3, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Are they going after kids wearing LA Dodgers shirts during the playoffs? With all the stabbings in their parking lot, they seem to be more responsible for violence than the NRA is.

shaner5000 on October 3, 2013 at 7:24 PM

school police

If your child’s school is such a hotbed of anti-social behavior as to need its very own police force, it’s past time to look into educational alternatives.

CurtZHP on October 3, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Screw you CA idiots.

TX-96 on October 3, 2013 at 7:25 PM

if it was a pick of obama firing that shotgun at camp david I suspect she would be ok.

dmacleo on October 3, 2013 at 7:35 PM

This clearly looks like an attempt to impose political correctness on students rather than consistent and reasonable discipline, and yet another example of zero tolerance replacing adult judgment and responsible stewardship in public schools.

But will the students pick up on this? That is the question.

Cleombrotus on October 3, 2013 at 7:37 PM

She should go to the mall and have a t-shirt airbrushed with the image of an Indian warrior violently scalping a cowboy and then wear that to school. She might consider firing up the iPhone to video heads exploding.

M240H on October 3, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Do they allow “Che” shirts?

itsacookbook on October 3, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Educate the educators. No.

SUE and require they lose their jobs as part of the settlement.

plaidsheetman on October 3, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Principal Kimberly Fricker responded in an email, which said, in part, “The shirt had a gun on it, which is not allowed by school police.

Who are these school police she speaks of? Are they municipal police working in arrangement with the District, or the District’s employees?

School principal does not notice her own spelling/typo. LOL I think she meant “school policy.” Even so, moronic.

ugottabekiddingme on October 3, 2013 at 7:43 PM

“I think that if you consider the hunter, the image of the hunter to be offensive, certainly there are groups that would consider the Comanche Indian chief to be offensive,” he said.

Well, mostly busybody groups that largely don’t include Native Americans among their supporters…

… uhhh, really Ed? Only “busybody groups” consider the Comanche a symbol of violence?

Jaibones on October 3, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Do they allow “Che” shirts?

itsacookbook on October 3, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Betcha they do! Our schools are run and staffed almost exclusively by imbeciles.

Jaibones on October 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

The FLAG on that shirt was also a call to action by the hard core anti-constitution socialists that infest the public schools in California.

Freddy on October 3, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Do they allow PLO shirts?
What about Che?
Black Power?

Zero Tolerance has become shorthand for zero brains.

Another Drew on October 3, 2013 at 8:04 PM

The FLAG on that shirt was also a call to action by the hard core anti-constitution socialists that infest the public schools in California.

Freddy on October 3, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Kinda related…in the days after 9/11 some high school kid was being interviewed by MTV who was perturbed by patriotism, and offended by the flag, as…to him…represented American imperialist aggression.

JetBoy on October 3, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Anyone consdier what whould happen if she wore a shirt with the official, U.S. government issued Massachusetts state quarter picture on it?

Better yet would be that on the front, and a reproduction of a New Hampshire license plate on her back.

Another Drew on October 3, 2013 at 8:09 PM

If guess if you had a teashirt with a Minuteman on it, that would be promoting violent revolution. So much for National Guard or State Guard emblems.

KW64 on October 3, 2013 at 8:55 PM

This isn’t the Los Angeles Unified School District, either, but a school in relatively conservative Orange County …

Doesn’t matter where it is… The schools are dripping with fascists.

mankai on October 3, 2013 at 10:00 PM

School apologizes after contact by NRA lawyers………..

Sent on behalf of Michael L. Christensen, Superintendent of Schools, Orange Unified School District:

Response to Canyon High School NRA Shirt Incident

Canyon High School has a policy prohibiting clothing depicting or promoting violence. In this incident, a student was referred to the counseling office by a security officer because she was wearing a shirt with a logo that included a rifle. The student was instructed by a staff member to change her shirt and was provided another shirt to wear.

The parents contacted the principal a week after the incident to express concern. At that time, the principal was unaware of the incident and provided an initial response regarding the school policy on clothing that depicts violence. After reviewing pictures of the shirt, the principal determined that the shirt logo does not promote violence.

The family was contacted and advised that wearing the shirt was not contrary to the school dress code policy and the student will be permitted to wear the shirt. The student and family received an apology and assurance that training will be provided to staff so an incident like this does not occur again.

GarandFan on October 4, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Here is the relevant statute the school broke.
http://www.volokh.com/2013/10/03/california-high-school-blocks-nra-t-shirt-depicts-weapon/

keioki on October 4, 2013 at 12:38 AM

A local blogger posted the principal’s phone number online and the NRA activists here are strike trained to turn up the heat and keep it that way. Wonder if that had anything to do with the decision to try to smooth things over? Pain and pain avoidance.

InTheBellyoftheBeast on October 4, 2013 at 12:58 AM