Many schools have dress codes to make sure students don’t come to class in inappropriate or distracting clothes that might hinder their performance.
However, many believe one Florida school went while enforcing their dress code. According to Ridgewood High School’s dress code, students may not wear any logos on clothing that is larger than the size of a quarter. So when 16-year-old Tyler Powers, who has beaten cancer not once, but twice, showed up to class in a purple Relay for Life “survivor” shirt, he was promptly pulled out of class.
“I was doing my work; I was causing no disruption whatsoever,” said Powers, a class president who beat acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was 7 and then again when he was 10.
Powers was told he could either spend the day in ISS (in-school suspension), call his parents and wait for a change of clothes, or change into a shirt provided by the school. To avoid suspension, Powers changed into a school shirt, but his father insists he shouldn’t have had to change.
“It’s disturbing,” said dad Tim Powers. “There’s nothing about the shirt that was demeaning or hateful. It’s a positive message. We’ve been through all of this, we’ve lived this. When kids are proud of accomplishments, they’re a positive influence on other children. There are kids who look up to him. When something like this happens, it’s almost like a slap in the face.”
However, the school insists the teacher did nothing wrong. “She never noticed what was on his shirt and he ever mentioned anything about being a cancer survivor,” said Linda Cobbe, spokesperson for Pasco County Schools. “If he had said something, she would have listened empathetically and explained to him how the logo size limit applies to all shirts and that they can’t discriminate by allowing one student to wear a special shirt.”
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[Featured image: Tyler Powers]