Boy, 8, ordered by school to turn his Black Lives Matter shirt inside out

Harriet Brewis
Saturday 08 May 2021 08:09
Identities

A little boy was punished at his school in Oklahoma after he proudly wore a Black Lives Matter  (BLM) t-shirt to class.

Eight-year-old Ben Stapleton was ordered by the principal at Charles Evans Elementary School to turn his BLM shirt inside out after he put it on for a PE lesson last week, local broadcaster KXII reports.

When he wore the top again, he was allegedly taken out of class and forced to sit in the principal’s office for hours in what his mum has branded “modern-day segregation.”

Addressing her son’s punshiers, the mother Jordan Herbert said: “He knows nothing about politics or his rights, so you (made) him turn it inside out because you don’t like it.”

The following day, she decided to send all three of her children to school in BLM tees.

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Two of the kids, including Ben and his five-year-old younger brother, were removed from class, according to their furious mum.

They spent the day in the principal’s office, missing breaktime, lunch with their friends, and Ben’s weekly tutoring session, she explained.

Speaking to McClatchy News, Herbert claimed that her son was forced to face a wall for six hours in the school office.

“They say no disciplinary action was taken, but making them sit in the office missing everything was modern day segregation,” she said.

Her elder son was reportedly not punished for wearing his shirt.

Jordan Herbert said her son had been subjected to ‘modern-day segregation’

(KXII)

Ardmore City Schools Superintendent Kim Holland told KXII that the issue stemmed from the school’s dress code policy, which prohibits “any clothing or apparel that could disrupt the learning process.”

Responding to Herbert’s complaints, Holland said: “I understand what she is saying, but school is not the place to have all that political back and forth and upheaval.

“We’re trying to teach kids things like reading and writing.”

He added: “We’re trying to be more neutral in the school and be advocates for all of our children in what they need.”

Kim Holland told the broadcaster that schools should be about ‘reading and writing’ not ‘political upheaval’

(KXII)

The school’s dress code states that “shirts and tops with sayings or logos printed on them should be in good taste and school appropriate.”

A group of students and supporters protested outside the school on Wednesday, with Ben holding up a sign reading: “Education! Not Discrimination!”

His mother told KXII that there was just one thing she wanted from the school district.

“Allow my kid to express how his life matters,” she said. “That’s it, that’s all.”

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