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Gresham middle schooler sent home for wearing gun shirt

PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - The Holmes family all wear their patriotic shirts. The principal of Dexter McCarthy Middle School sent an eighth-grade student home this week for wearing a shirt with a gun on it, KOIN-6 News reported.

The shirt was supporting U.S. troops, but also displayed the traditional tribute to fallen soldiers of boots, a helmet and a gun.

“It means a lot to me because our family, we have a lot of people who were in the military,” middle schooler Alan Holmes said. “I didn’t see anything wrong with that shirt … It’s sad to see because it’s a fallen soldiers’ memorial.”

After getting sent to the principal’s office at recess, Holmes was scolded for failing to meet the school’s dress code. The principal then told him to change his clothes or leave, KOIN reported.

“He chose to come home and I’m proud of that,” Alan’s mother Connie said.

The Gresham-Barlow School District provided the following statement to KOIN in response to the incident: “I cannot comment on a specific situation due to student confidentiality requirements. We have a policy on student dress and grooming. Weapons on a shirt are not appropriate in a school setting.”

Alan's father Charles countered that “It’s not promoting violence, it’s showing patriotism toward the guys we all care about.”

The issue of guns and schools was especially sensitive this week. A gunman murdered nine people in creative writing class at Umpqua Community College on Thursday, Oct. 1.

Now the family is waging their own T-shirt protest off school grounds. Connie recently picked up more shirts for the whole family, KOIN reported.

“I just think it’s wrong for him to be stifled in that way, or for any kid to be stifled for being proud to be an American,” she said.

The Holmes family says they’ve received an outpouring of support from veterans groups online.


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