Yesterday, I mentioned the “Relay for Life” t-shirt flap at a Bristol middle school. To make a long story short: several kids wore the purple Relay t’s to Vance Middle School. Some of those kids misbehaved. Administrators blamed the mess on the Relay’s “unifying” trademark purple – and banned the color altogether.
Now, these kids didn’t beat anyone up. They didn’t damage school property. They didn’t get ACS tattoos in study hall. They banged on some lockers. While the act may have been a poor show of solidarity, a sounding the drums or plain-old noisy-ass annoying pubescent behavior – overall, it was basically harmless.
Blaming the nuisance on a color or a non-profit, which raises money for cancer research – well, it may have seemed logical at the time, but following the public outcry, you figure administrators are now kicking themselves for poor judgment.
Not only is the purple ban still in effect: the Herald Courier reports students were also prohibited from reading copies of Wednesday’s newspaper at school, (the edition containing the original article on the abolishment of all things Purple.)
“No kids were allowed to read the newspaper today,” Matt [Smith] said. “The teachers usually get stacks, but [faculty] took them all away.”
Add to this, a growing number of parents have publicly refuted what school administrators told the Herald Courier regarding parent complaints/ communications, which isn’t doing much for the school’s overall credibility here.
Students, parents and community members are talking protest.
Someone called the ACLU to weigh in on the matter.
And what Vance Middle School has on their hands is a battle that’s not worth fighting.
In my opinion, the Bristol school system should stop digging themselves into a hole – apologize for the misunderstanding, which has gotten out-of-hand, and offer a statement of support to the ACS by lifting the ban on purple and dealing with student behavior issues on an individual basis.
Or they can stick to their guns, ban other disruptive colors, maybe eliminate the Newspapers in Education program altogether… and then when they’re finished-up with that, they can pop some popcorn, watch their community support take a nose-dive and the lawsuits roll in… all because some boys banged on a locker.