School lifts ban on shirts honoring girl

A southern Michigan school district has reversed its decision to bar students from wearing T-shirts honoring a 12-year-old classmate who died over the weekend following a long battle with cancer.
AP Wire
Nov 13, 2013

 

At least a dozen students showed up to Lakeview Middle School in Battle Creek on Monday wearing blue or orange T-shirts to honor sixth-grader Caitlyn Jackson, who died Saturday after fighting leukemia for years. Blue was Caitlyn's favorite color and orange is worn to honor those like her with leukemia, and some of the shirts were from various benefits for Caitlyn over the years.

When students arrived at school, administrators asked them to change out of the shirts, turn them inside-out or tape over Caitlyn's name.

"They said that they really liked the shirts, but that it just triggered too much emotion for someone who was really close to her," 13-year-old student Alyssa Jaynes told the newspaper.

Students were allowed to make cards for the family, and students wearing blue and orange shirts without Caitlyn's name on them weren't asked to change, said Amy Jones, the school's finance director. Students who were asked to turn their shirts inside-out were told to keep Caitlyn's name "close to their heart."

Jones said the district decided Sunday to not allow the T-shirts in keeping with its crisis management plan, which bars permanent memorials on the belief that they can remind students of their grief and make it worse. Parents weren't informed of the decision.

"Certainly the intent of our decision was good," Jones said. "Probably the ramifications of our decision caused more disruption than if we had let kids wear the shirts in the first place."

Caitlyn's mother, Melinda Jackson, said she learned about the T-shirt ban while returning from the Ann Arbor hospital where her daughter died.

"That hurt me to the point that I didn't think I could be hurt anymore," said Jackson, who works for the district as a childcare provider.

The district changed its stance after students and parents complained. But on Facebook, some parents were calling for the ouster of those who initially decided to ban the shirts. The district superintendent was out of the country when that decision was made.

District officials met with Caitlyn's family on Monday and planned to review the policies that led to the initial ban.

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Comments

truthhurts

how do schools come up with this crap now days?

LessThanAmused

Really, that's exactly what I was thinking....who comes up with these stupid rules. The frightening thing is these are "educators" coming up with this brain dead crap!

How could honoring a classmate by showing support be a bad thing?

truthhurts

sad part is that this has become all too common. Are school officials really this blind to the good/right/obvious decision? They should be setting the example.

ohreally

I am a teacher and would never ever think of asking this of students. How in the world does covering up the name change what students are thinking about or heighten the emotion. Regardless of a shirt or a name or a color, emotions are going to be running high. This is when school should be a place for comfort and an opportunity to grieve as each student needs to and schools should accommodate all. If a students emotions are heightened by a name on a shirt, then there should be a place for them to go to handle their grief. I am tired of stupid decisions being made without any thought. How can schools fault lawmakers for their decisions when they are making the same dumb decisions! Comfort all of the kids during a time like this, work for the kids, be there for the kids, STOP FORGETTING THAT YOU ARE THERE FOR THE KIDS!

LessThanAmused

One can always hope that this was some idiot administrator's decision and no teachers were involved, but still, these people who can't see any further ahead than the end of their own nose....how do they get into positions of decision making / power in the first place?

Tri-cities realist

As sad as the story is about the young girl, I think we've found something we can all agree on, it was a stupid decision to ban the shirts in the first place.

ohreally

agreed realist!

 

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