LOS ANGELES — A California high school student who grabbed a National Rifle Association T-shirt in her hurry to find something clean to wear to school was later confronted outside class by campus officials who forced the student to remove her shirt or face suspension, the girl’s parents said.
Haley Bullwinkle heeded the demand, took off the white T-shirt and slipped on a school shirt that officials at Canyon High in Anaheim handed her. On Thursday, the school changed course and apologized to the 16-year-old and said campus staffers will be trained so that “an incident like this does not occur again.”
The offending T-shirt had an American flag and a silhouette of a hunter with a rifle and the slogan: “National Rifle Association of America, Protecting America’s Traditions Since 1871.”
In asking the student to remove the shirt, school officials said the depiction of the rifle was a violation of the school’s dress code. The school’s dress code prohibits clothing that promotes or depicts violence, criminal activity and anything that’s degrading to ethnic values, among other restrictions. However, after reviewing the pictures on the shirt, Principal Kimberly Fricker later concluded that the shirt didn’t promote violence.