Two young brothers were punished at separate schools for wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts.
Jordan Herbert of Oklahoma says that her 8-year-old son, Ben, was told to turn his BLM shirt inside-out on April 30th because the shirt was said to be political. However, in a meeting with the school’s superintendent, Herbert was told that children could not be punished for wearing Black Lives Matter shirts. Herbert sent her three children to school on Tuesday wearing matching Black Lives Matter shirts with this reassurance. Her older son was not punished for wearing the shirt, but Ben and his younger brother were.
Five-year-old Rodney was forced to sit in the principal’s office all day at Will Rogers Elementary School. At the same time, Ben was separated from his classmates and forced to do his school work and eat lunch in the front office at Charles Evans Elementary School. The school also punished Ben by making him miss recess and face a wall for six hours in the office.
Ardmore City Schools Superintendent Kim Holland says that “political clothing” is discouraged, and sending children to the principal’s office for breaking the dress code is standard practice. However, the dress code does not mention political statements. It only states that “shirts and tops with sayings or logos printed on them should be in good taste and school appropriate.”
Herbert says that making her children sit in the office away from their fellow students was “modern-day segregation.”
“Allow my kid to express how his life matters, that’s it, that’s all,” Herbert said.
On Wednesday, a protest was held outside Charles Evans Elementary School.