Some Ardmore parents are upset after an elementary school made a student turn their Black Lives Matter shirt inside out.
When Jordan Herbert sent her 7-year-old son Ben Stapleton to school at Charles Evans Elementary in a Black Lives Matter t-shirt last Friday, she said it wasn’t to make a statement or cause problems. However, when school officials saw the shirt, they made Ben turn it inside out for the rest of the day.
“And pulled me out of P.E. and told me to put my shirt out and then I just started playing again,” Ben said.
His mother, Jordan, knew nothing of the incident until Ben told her when she got home from work that evening. At that point, the school was closed.
“So, Monday morning when the school opened, I went up there and I asked the principal if she could show me in the policy book where he violated dress code,” Herbert said.
Herbert said the principal couldn’t and informed her she would have to take the matter up with the superintendent.
I understand what she is saying but again, school is not the place to have all of that political back and forth and upheaval. We're trying to teach kids reading and writing,” Ardmore Schools Superintendent Ken Holland said.
According to Herbert, Holland said nothing could be done to the kids as long as they respectfully refused to wear the shirts inside out.
So, on Tuesday Jordan once again sent Ben to school in a BLM shirt and also his 5-year-old brother. They both spent the day in their respective offices, Ben had no recess and ate lunch in the office.
“And when I asked him what he had been doing all day he told me facing the wall doing school work. He didn’t get to go to tutoring and that was due to his shirt," Jordan said.
But this isn’t the first time this has come up in the school. Pastor Ricky McGee, the local NAACP president, said he had the same issue with his grandson six months ago.
“They took his shirt off and turned it inside-out and made him wear it that way all day long. And so he was feeling kind of strange about that you know having to wear his clothes that way,” said McGee.
McGee said there have been multiple complaints about this same thing.
With the recent incidents, McGee said he finally received a call back from the superintendent.
There is currently no policy against wearing the shirts. For now, students are permitted to wear them with no consequences.