Boys pulled out of class for BLM shirts in Oklahoma

“A ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt is not politics,” Jordan Herbert said

Two brothers, Bentlee Herbert, 8, and Rodney Herbert, 5, were removed from their elementary classrooms and made to wait outside of the front officer for wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts. 

The New York Times reported that the boys’ mother, Jordan Herbert, was told by the superintendent of the school district in Ardmore, Oklahoma, that political apparel would “not be allowed at school.” 

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Bentlee, who is a third-grader at Charles Evans Elementary, went to class in the Black Lives Matter shirt that he picked out himself to wear on April 30, according to his mother. Bentlee was told by principal, Denise Brunk, that he wasn’t allowed to wear the shirt because of the message and was directed to turn it inside out to finish out the day. 

Herbert said she learned from Brunk about the disciplinary action and went to inquire about the dress code policy that was violated on Monday. She was then referred to Ardmore City Schools superintendent Kim Holland.

“He told me when the George Floyd case blew up that politics will not be allowed at school,” Herbert told the outlet referring to Holland. “I told him, once again, a ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt is not politics.”

According to a copy of the district’s student handbook, the policy states that clothing with “sayings or logos” must be “in good taste and school appropriate.”

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On Tuesday, Herbert’s three sons – Bentlee, Rodney, and Jaelon, 12, went to their respective schools in matching “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts, with the image of a clenched fist on the front. 

Herbert would later receive a call from Rodney’s school, Will Rogers Elementary, that she would need to either bring a new shirt to her son, let the school provide one or he would be directed to sit in the front office for the rest of the school day. 

Rodney sat in the office until the end of the day while. Jaelon encountered no issues at Ardmore Middle School. 

In an interview with The Daily Ardmoreite, Holland said that the shirts are disruptive in an “charged” social climate. 

“It’s our interpretation of not creating a disturbance in school. I don’t want my kids wearing MAGA hats or Trump shirts to school either because it just creates, in this emotionally charged environment, anxiety and issues that I don’t want our kids to deal with,” Holland said. 

He added, “Most of it has not been an issue until this lady here has been angry about it and I wish she weren’t so upset.”

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