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Ardmore elementary school tells student to turn BLM shirt inside out, parent protested Wednesday

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 9:40 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - A parent of Ardmore students and supporters of Black Lives Matter protested in front of Charles Evans Elementary School Wednesday after a student was told to turn his BLM shirt inside out on Friday.

“It made me mad and sad,” said 8-year-old third grader Ben Stapleton.

Stapleton said he was told by his principal to turn his Black Lives Matter t-shirt inside out while he was in his P.E. class.

“They pulled me out of P.E. and told me to put my shirt inside out and then I started playing,” said Ben.

His mom, Jordan Herbert was told on Monday by Ardmore Superintendent Kim Holland that Ben will not be disciplined if he respectfully refused to turn the shirt inside out.

“Y’all know he knows nothing about politics or his rights, so y’all make him turn it inside out because you don’t like it,” said Herbert.

On Tuesday, Herbert decided to send all three of her kids to school with Black Lives Matter shirts. She said two were taken out of class including Ben and his younger brother.

Herbert said Ben and his 5-year-old brother spent the day in the principal’s office. Which resulted in Ben eating his lunch separated from of other students, miss recess and his weekly tutoring.

“Whenever they called I informed them to get in touched with their superintendent because he told me the day before nothing can be done to my kids when they have those shirts on,” said Herbert.

Ardmore Superintendent Kim Holland said all political clothing is discouraged, along with any other clothing that disrupts the learning process.

“I understand what she is saying, but school is not the place to have all that, y’know political back and forth and upheaval. We’re trying to teach kids things like reading and writing.” said Holland.

Holland said it’s normal for teachers to send students to the principal’s office for breaking the dress code policy.

“We’re trying to be more neutral in the school and be advocates for all of our children in what they need,” said Holland.

Herbert is wanting one thing from the school district.

“Allow my kid to express how his life matters, that’s it, that’s all,” said Herbert.

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