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Students Suspended For Patriotic 9/11 Shirts


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Ben Lewandowski says he was only trying to be patriotic when he wore a homemade T-shirt featuring an American flag bumper sticker and the words "Remember 9/11" to Lincoln Park High School on Monday.

 

After all, it was Sept. 11 -- five years after the terrorist attacks.

 

The 17-year-old Lincoln Park resident put the shirt on Monday morning and headed to school -- where he was quickly sent to the office and suspended for three days for violating the school's dress code.

 

He was one of at least seven students sent home for wearing shirts featuring patriotic images and messages. It comes less than a week after three siblings were suspended for wearing shirts emblazoned with the First Amendment, despite warnings, and a week after more than 200 students were sent home on the first day of school for violating the district's dress code -- which bans apparel with writing or pictures.

 

For Lewandowski, who was sent home on the first day of school for wearing a shirt with writing on it, Monday's incident was his second offense.

 

"I was frustrated," said the junior, whose desire to become a firefighter was fueled after the Sept. 11 attacks. "It just made me so mad that I can't be patriotic."

 

Lincoln Park Schools Superintendent Randall Kite said the high school held a moment of silence Monday to give students an outlet to show their patriotism. He said some students had asked last week whether they could wear shirts to commemorate the day, and they were told no.

 

"We didn't think it would be appropriate, because of the dress code, to wear T-shirts with writing," he said Tuesday.

 

According to the dress code, students are allowed to wear school-sanctioned clothing, such as T-shirts bearing the school's mascot or clothing that supports school organizations.

 

This, according to the ACLU of Michigan, may violate the students' rights, particularly because it allows students to wear clothing that encourages school spirit but bans other forms of expression. ACLU officials have said that they plan to look into the constitutionality of the dress code.

 

Kite said the district had lawyers review the policy before it was enacted. Members of the district's school board have said the dress code is lenient compared with other districts such as Detroit and Pontiac, which have banned jeans and T-shirts completely.

 

Southfield's school district implemented a dress code last year similar to those enacted in Detroit and Pontiac this year. Southfield Schools Deputy Superintendent Ken Siver said Tuesday that the district didn't have any problems Monday with students violating the policy to wear patriotic garb.

 

Still, some Lincoln Park parents say they feel the district has gone too far.

 

Kaye Belcuore's granddaughter, 14-year-old Karly Belcuore, was sent home Monday from Lincoln Park High for wearing a T-shirt with patriotic messages on it.

 

"I think it's a little ridiculous under the circumstances," Kaye Belcuore said.

 

Kelly Galley agrees. Her three children -- 13-year-old twins Monique and Jaicen Massa and 11-year-old Jaymie Massa -- were suspended last week for protesting the dress code by wearing T-shirts with the First Amendment on them. Jaymie had stayed home from Lincoln Park Middle School on Tuesday, but Monique and Jaicen wore the shirts again -- their third offense -- and were suspended again, this time for five days. One more offense and they'll be expelled.

 

Galley said it's likely she'll end up homeschooling.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article...EWS02/609130320

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A three day suspension is probably a bit overboard, it wasn't like gang related or something but I agree that unless the school doesn't have a dress code, this isn't really news. It's almost a shame that this school is being put in a bad light for just following their rules, no matter the circumstances. There are plenty of other ways to commemorate 9/11.

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I'm willing to bet my left testicle that the principal of that school isn't a republican.

 

Even worse it's a female with a doctorate :o . People like you give conservatives a bad name. Because I can clearly see this is not a partisan issue. It is people like you that have ruined what it is to belong to the GOP and what it means to be republican. You are just full of hatred and part of the reason the political landscape is like it is.

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It wasn't like he was suspended for being patriotic, anyways. This isn't a free speech issue. He was suspended for breaking code of conduct, which the school clearly has rules about.

 

High Schoolers don't have the rights of everyone else anyways.

 

 

:banghead

Umm when you are under 18 you basically have no rights. Unless your parents are outright harming you they can make just about every decision for you.

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It wasn't like he was suspended for being patriotic, anyways. This isn't a free speech issue. He was suspended for breaking code of conduct, which the school clearly has rules about.

 

High Schoolers don't have the rights of everyone else anyways.

 

 

:banghead

Umm when you are under 18 you basically have no rights. Unless your parents are outright harming you they can make just about every decision for you.

 

Yes I know and that has always bothered me.

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It wasn't like he was suspended for being patriotic, anyways. This isn't a free speech issue. He was suspended for breaking code of conduct, which the school clearly has rules about.

 

High Schoolers don't have the rights of everyone else anyways.

 

 

:banghead

Umm when you are under 18 you basically have no rights. Unless your parents are outright harming you they can make just about every decision for you.

 

Yes I know and that has always bothered me.

 

Not me.

 

We're already enough of a Jerry Springer/Flavor or Love society. I don't need it getting worse when ignorant kids who don't know any better start making even MORE bad decisions for themselves ("Yo, man, skool's overrated. Conclusion: I'ma quit!").

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I mainly disagree with the fact that minors pay sales tax (and come to think of it, income tax) when they cannot vote.

 

 

So, do you want them to vote or not to pay sales tax?

 

Most aren't informed enough to vote. I said most, not all. Hell, I'm not sure a lot of people WITH voting priviliges (sp?) are informed enough to vote.

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I mainly disagree with the fact that minors pay sales tax (and come to think of it, income tax) when they cannot vote.

 

 

So, do you want them to vote or not to pay sales tax?

 

Most aren't informed enough to vote. I said most, not all. Hell, I'm not sure a lot of people WITH voting priviliges (sp?) are informed enough to vote.

 

I'm the only one who's informed enough to vote. We all know that.

 

I want minors to be tax exempt in all situations.

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I mainly disagree with the fact that minors pay sales tax (and come to think of it, income tax) when they cannot vote.

 

 

So, do you want them to vote or not to pay sales tax?

 

Most aren't informed enough to vote. I said most, not all. Hell, I'm not sure a lot of people WITH voting priviliges (sp?) are informed enough to vote.

 

I'm the only one who's informed enough to vote. We all know that.

 

I want minors to be tax exempt in all situations.

 

Meh, I don't see the big deal.

 

It's like money down on future priviliges. Although, maybe I'm missing something?

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