After much debate, an Illinois school has issued an apology to the 14-year-old boy they requested to turn his U.S. Marines T-shirt inside out. A teacher at the school told the boy to change his shirt because it featured interlocking rifles under the Marines logo, sparking outrage by the boy's parents and larger community.
"My son is very proud of the Marines and, in fact, of all the services," Daniel McIntyre told Fox News. "So he wears it with pride. There are two rifles crossed underneath the word 'Marines' on the shirt, but to me that should be overlooked. It's more about the Marines instead of the rifles."
McIntyre's son, Michael, was asked to remove the shirt and threatened with suspension by his teacher before agreeing to turn the shirt inside out. According to McIntyre, Michael had worn the shirt several times with no problems, but for some reason this time was different.
"He was upset; he couldn't understand it. He couldn't understand why a teacher would make him do that," McIntyre added.
When the news reached Principal Brett McPherson, he ruled that the shirt was not a violation of the dress code and that McIntyre should have been allowed to wear it without incident. Yet he was not informed of the incident until after it had already occurred.
"Nobody took the next step of asking the principal or making them aware of it," Superintendent Joe Burgess told Fox. "The teacher is obviously allowed to question anything they feel might be a violation of dress code, but again, had an administrator been allowed to respond, this could have been taken care of yesterday."
"Genoa-Kingston Middle School is well known in the community for their support of our military," a statement by the school read. "The students and staff regularly write letters of support to the troops and hold patriotic ceremonies for Veteran's Day and Patriot's Day."
"We also take school safety very earnestly and it needs to be recognized that is a topic that we also take very seriously and support our students and staff in providing a safe environment to learn, teach, and work in on a daily basis," the statement continued.
Some have speculated that the teacher overreacted to seeing the weapons, given the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. However, McIntyre has been apologized to and given permission to resume wearing the shirt.