Patriotic T-Shirt Causing Controversy at Dos Palos High

September 18, 2008 9:38:33 PM PDT
A school administrator, who made a student change out of his patriotic t-shirt on Tuesday, has sparked a community-wide controversy in Dos Palos.The superintendent says a new administrator misinterpreted the recently revised dress code here at Dos Palos High. The school has apologized for the mistake, but some students are still fired up.

Jake Shelly showed up at school on Thursday once again wearing the USA shirt that set off fireworks at Dos Palos High.

And this time many of his classmates joined in on the patriotic display.

Marcus Chanes said "We got a text message around 5:00 last night saying to wear red, white and blue."

"They got one of my friends in trouble for wearing an American flag shirt and we live in America" said Melissa Gamel.

The controversy started on Tuesday when an administrator made Shelly change out of his symbolic shirt and into this bright yellow t.

Jake Shelly's sister Kaycee said "It's embarrassing, it really is, you have a big shirt that says dress code violator, it's embarrassing, humiliating actually."

Superintendent Brian Walker says the assistant principal misinterpreted a line of the school's new dress code that's designed to keep students from promoting specific races, cultures, or ethnicities.

Supt. Brian Walker: "A flag is absolutely OK."

Walker says the school apologized to the Shelly family and concerned members of the American Legion.

Principal Terri Gill: "It was a mistake and we've done everything we could to rectify the mistake, we're sorry, we're all Broncos, and we're all Americans, and we pay tribute to all the people who fought for our country and we're so sorry that this happened."

"My family does accept the apology. We didn't think it was going to get this big and it wasn't our intention at all, but there are other people who do not think sorry is good enough."

Jake Shelly's father and members of the American Legion are expected to speak at a school board meeting later Thursday tonight.

But we're told they all understand that this was just a mistake ... and one administrator won't make again.

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