1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Winchester Sweatshirt in Schools

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by cole-mitchell, Apr 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. cole-mitchell

    cole-mitchell TS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    194
    For you who don't know who I am, My name is Cole Mitchell. I am an avid trapshooter, hunter and in general a devout sportsman. I also a freshmen in highschool. One day I was walking through the halls of my school and the dean of the school walked up to me and "demanded" that I take my sweatshirt off because it was not appropriate. My sweatshirt does not promote gangs, drugs or sex. It simply has the winchester logo on it with "Winchester ammunition" printed in the center. I glared at the dean and walked away while he was trying to talk to me. Never again was I bothered. However I would like to ask your opinion on the subject. If he truly wanted to force me to take off my sweatshirt what should I have said?
     
  2. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,642
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    I would ask what right or reason he had to make that demand. If there is a dress code, it should apply to all students.

    Picking and choosing what to enforce is not the American way, as far as I am concerned.

    However, you were wrong in your actions. This man will not gain anything since he did not have to think about what he said.

    Pressed to the limit, I would take the shirt off under protest.

    And walk awy bare-chested.(NO, not really)

    HM
     
  3. Jim101

    Jim101 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Knob Noster, Mo
    I'd ask him for his full name, Phone number, And a copy of the official school dress code. Then mention that our next conversation would be thru my lawyer.




    Jim
     
  4. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    887
    That whole situation is truly sad...........
     
  5. tachyon

    tachyon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    670
    Hi Cole, I am a high school teacher and trap coach at our school. We don't have a problem here as our girls wear spirit shirts with crossed shotguns on the back and "Breaking Clays by Day and Hearts by Night".

    This issue has been adjudicated before. See the website above. Basically the school can restrict dress if "It would substantially disrupt school operations or interfere with the rights of others". In Virginia a student went to court over a school dress policy which forbade students from wearing shirts with messages that related to guns. The fourth circuit ruled that the policy was unconstitutional. The court noted that "no shirt related to the legal use of guns had ever caused any disruption in a school". Basically, the court ruled that gun related shirts were legal and no school board/school dress code can outlaw such apparel in a public school. This case has been discussed in many school administrators conventions/listservs/magazines etc.

    The only exceptions to the above would be a shirt that glorifies gun violence/gang violence etc. Since you were wearing a Winchester shirt you would probably win in court. That being said it could/would be a long expensive journey as many schools like to spend your tax money on lawyers and do not like to be told they are wrong. You have to ask yourself how much would your parents support you. Are you ready for the hassle. Some administrators have long memories and do not like to lose.

    You might want to print off the article above and share it with the dean.

    Bruce
     
  6. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,866
    Tal/Il has it right......don't try to fight the battle then and there, you will lose and be further punished. Get your parents involved.....immediately! And do NOT take the sweatshirt off till you are with your folks.
     
  7. AJ100

    AJ100 TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,575
    It starts way before high school. My Grandson, 6, came over one evening last week with a questionnaire about his "great" grandparent. There was a spot for a picture of him and his favorite grandparent. Lucky me.

    There were a few questions about what he and his grandparent liked to do together. He wrote fishing as I took him on his first fishing trip last summer.
    The other questions had to do with me. What kind of job I had. What was my favorite food. What was my favorite color. The type of questions a 6 year old would understand. The last was the kicker. What was my favorite hobby.

    I told him to write clay target shooting. He put the pencil down and got the strangest look on his face. I asked him what was the problem, thinking he didn't know how to spell it. He asked me if he could just write clay target. When I asked why he didn't want to write the word shooting he told me "that wasn't APPROPRIATE". I doubt if he even knows what the word appopriate means but he knew the TEACHER wouldn't like it. When I told him it was OK to write it he almost started to cry, thinking I was going to get him in trouble. We wrote fishing so as to keep his TEACHER happy.

    This is in SW Pa. a state that has over a million hunters.

    Damn sad state of our schools as far as I am concerned.

    AJ100
     
  8. oldgahchamp

    oldgahchamp Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,263
    Cole, Congratulations on your fine shooting at the Spring Grand. I don't think anyone has the right to tell you what to wear in a public school unless it is obscene. When I was in school (many years ago) we could take our guns to school for "show & tell" or maybe just to show to the other kids. When I would get on the school bus with a rifle or shotgun, the driver would only ask if it was unloaded.. My first shotgun, a 12ga sxs double was bought from one of my teachers and I still have it. Times have really changed haven't they? Larry Evans
     
  9. cole-mitchell

    cole-mitchell TS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    194
    Thanks Mr. Evans. I guess some kids get lucky every once in a while! but going back to my sweatshirt, If I ever get questioned by a figure of authority at my school again I will keep everyones suggestions in mind. It seems in some parts of the country that if you own a gun or legally hunt game that you are a criminal. Sad times we live in...
     
  10. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,083
    Cole, my gut reaction is........You should have a talk with your Dad or your Mother and let them know what happened and let them tell you what you should do.

    If you have the backing of your parents, it will make a difference.

    Maybe not with the school officials, but it will make a profound difference in how you feel about it.

    Knowing whether you are right or wrong in the eyes of your parents makes it better for your peace of mind. And that counts for a lot.

    Just remember, you did nothing wrong by wearing that sweatshirt to school.

    Hauxfan!
     
  11. sydsmom06

    sydsmom06 TS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    The same thing happened to me 22 years ago when I was in 10th grade. Everyone in my school knew I was a trapshooter and traveled to many state and zone shoots. At one of the shoots my parents purchased a t-shirt for me. It said "I upped my score, up yours". To you and all the other shooters, you would know exactly what the shirt implied. I had been struggling with my scores and had finally had a breakthrough with my shooting scores. I was proud that I had improved, BUT, when I put that shirt on for gym one day, I was called to the office and ordered to change my shirt by the secretary of the school, who by the way was my next door neighbor who knew of my shooting without question.
    Turns out my anti-gun instructor turned me in as it offended him. I took the shirt off and never wore it again at school. I was a bit embarrassed of the whole incident, but my fellow shooters loved my shirt and I continued wearing it on the trapfield.
    My old high school now has a trap team, but the team picture is not "allowed" in the yearbook because the team is not "endorsed" by the school. I want to believe that they can't have a picture in the yearbook because the competition is not done on school grounds. I guess if they allowed it, all the pictures of students in ice skating, hockey, etc that participate in activities outside of school would want to be added to the yearbook, too.
    Good luck to you.
     
  12. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    6,625
    Location:
    Michigan
    Times have changed greatly since many of us have been in school. My high school sponsored a Jr. NRA rifle team, taught by teachers, competed against other high schools. But that is then and this is now. Hauxfan is right don't start something without first talking it over with your parents. You have to understand that many fear guns and those who have them. Many schools have over reacted to those fears, based on what has happened at other schools. Try to understand their fears and prejudices and don't disrespect those in authority, even though they may be disrespecting you. That makes you a bigger and better person. Before you lawyer up I suggest you and your parents talk to members of the school board to see what their position is on the matter. If that doesn't work go a public school board meeting and make them state publicly their policy and make sure the press is there. Do not make a mountain our of a mole hill, you have your whole life in front of you to make your point or points. High school is just 4 years out of that life. We are a sport that many know very little about therefore we have to be understanding of them.

    Hang in there, shoot well and often. I'll look for you in the winners circle.

    Don
     
  13. dog easy

    dog easy TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    127
    Maybe you should tell the administrator that your representative will be Luca Brasi! LOL..........You did the right thing.

    Shoot Safe, John
     
  14. ffwildcat

    ffwildcat TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    845
    I went through this "inapproriate" dress issue with my son last year. He was wearing a jacket that he had sewn some stickers to, a punk rock spongebob with spiky hair and a skull and crossbones skateboard patch. the jacket also sported an "A" in a circle. One of his teachers pulled him aside and told him to remove his jacket as it was gang related (she had just been to a seminar!!). The headmaster called me and told me about the situation and asked why was my son wearing a jacket with an aryan nation logo on it - I laughed my head off and told her not to worry, the "A" in a circle stands for anarchy. I visited with the headmaster and let her know where my wife and I stood on the matter and my son continued to wear the jacket. Don't be confrontational but do stand up for what is right. For many, many years our clothing has been a harmless form of self expression. I would rather my son expressed himself that way than by indulging any one of the countless antisocial means available to our kids.
     
  15. ANTRIM UDF

    ANTRIM UDF TS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Messages:
    212
    Columbine the Final Report has aired recently on I think the Discovery Channel. It stated in one rcent year ten students had been killed by guns in schools across America. That seemed bad-until I thought how many had died in football, or all other sports combined. Or how many died in drugs related activity, car accidents, school bus accidents. I wonder how many kids were killed falling down on their sharpened pencils, really!! Ditto on thr "Don`t piss off the Man at school", they remember and will brand you in the Teacher`s lounge.
     
  16. Lyle

    Lyle Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    652
    Some good advice here and some, well,...........Tachyon, good post and law cases. Its been awhile since I've read those.
    Cole,
    How very cool it is that you have the opportunity to travel and shoot early in your life. I hope you remember to thank whoever it is that has given you that opportunity.

    I would challenge you to invite that Dean of Students with you to the shooting range. Offer to teach him how to do what it is you do with a gun and see what happens. (I think this is a better option than choosing to ignore and walk away from him, but the thing about teachers is they usually give you a chance to redeem yourself)

    I am a Principal and I will tell you that not everyone knows what it is we do. Times HAVE changed, but common sense does not need to. We need to educate those that jump to conclusions about things like your sweatshirt. We could go on and on............but I will tell you that I would allow you to wear that shirt in my school.
    Look forward to meeting you sometime.

    Lyle
     
  17. berettaman7

    berettaman7 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    644
    As you all know Beretta offers casual clothing with its name or logo on, thus its brand name or logo are often seen in public schools in and around San Diego County, they do not include images of guns or any reference to shooting, just like with Winchester, which is as popular as Goodyear or any other brand name, nonetheless I feel the school principal needed to address the matter under a different perspective and give you a copy of the dress code, if there is one, and then notify you in writing clearly explaining the reason why the school believes you are breaking the rules because of your choice of dress.

    Also, has Hauxfan suggests, have a talk with your parents and inform them what happened so that they decide what course of action to take.

    Regards,

    Berettaman7
     
  18. frozen

    frozen TS Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    13
    Wow, If they didnt like that shirt, they would love the one I got from the last school I went to. I am a proud graduate of the Dept of Defense Nuclear Weapons School. (yes im Military) The school seal even has a picture of Little Boy on it. Funny I never had a problem with any of the instructors there beeing offended by firearms. But in retrospect, I think a gun is the least thing they worry about.
     
  19. whiz white

    whiz white Strong Supporter of Trapshooting Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,771
    Location:
    Rapid City SD
    Being a trapshooter and retired school administrator, I had a kids wearing these and VFW rifle team shirts at school from time-to-time. They initially asked if it was OK, and I told them if any staff gave them any guff to see me directly. We never had a problem with staff.

    I complimented them for their interest in the shooting sports.

    We do at times have kids either turn their shirts inside-out or pick something else, but that was only for drugs, tobacco, alcohol, etc.

    Sounds like your Dean (of which I was at one time at the second largest high school in South Dakota) needs some fiber in his diet.

    Winchester makes some nice scope cases, travel cases, clothing, and other items not necessarily guns. Looks like Dean of Inflexibility has his own agenda.

    Remember: it's the Board of Education who passes policy and normally they are elected by the voters.

    I might add that my school district has a STAR Protocol for handling threats of violence developed by the police, sheriff, states attorney, counselors, psychologists, and school district personnel. It has been modeled/copied by other districts nationally.

    Nice thing about this state is that we are gun friendly, BUT we don't put up with violence either. Our STAR Protocol has been very successful in stopping violent behaviors before they get out of control. Threats are ALL taken seriously and addressed immediately.

    The Ryan Harris episode happened at my school, long before Columbine. He ultimately committed suicide on national TV. Ryan was hired to work at our gun club weeks before he took hostages here.

    We can't stop all violence in schools because we don't give psychological/mental tests to all the students, and we can't control what goes on or fails to happen at home. We can, however, use some reasonable common sense in what we do.

    Whiz White
     
  20. Bawana

    Bawana TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    729
    I did not read all the post here but in my area a middle school principal told a student that he had to remove or turn inside out a NRA SHOOTING CAMP T-shirt. All it showed on the shirt were 3 people shooting. One with a rifle, pistol and a shotgun. Not at anything but there on the shirt. The parents sued the school system and won. They got help from the VSSA, NRA and the Rutherford Institute 434-978-3888. The VSSA is in Orange, Va. The school did not have the right to say anything about your shirt. Call that number and talk to a lawyer there and I know you will be happy with what they can do for you. Do not take their crap and fight back. Not only for your self but those who come after you.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.