OC High School Forces Student To Change Her NRA Shirt, Then Apologizes
An Orange County high school is apologizing for making one of its students change out of her NRA T-shirt. Haley Bullwinkle, a sophomore at Canyon High in Anaheim, showed up to school wearing a shirt with a rifle and the following slogan: "National Rifle Association of America, Protecting America's Traditions Since 1871."
The school asked her to change her shirt, and you best believe that her family and the NRA was not happy to hear about this. Her dad said that when she got home she was "confused and frightened," according to the Los Angeles Times. The NRA asked Chuck Michel, a lawyer who has worked with the NRA in the past, to work with the Bullwinkle family.
But Haley evoked the First Amendment to defend her T-shirt promoting the Second: "I felt like they were violating my rights, my freedom of speech. I want to be able to wear what I want to wear within reason."
Initially, the school told Haley's parents that the school reserved the right to ban clothing depicting violence.
Haley's father, an NRA member, told CBS Los Angeles the school was hypocritical since it's drill team twirls fake rifles and it's mascot is a Comanche: "I think that if you consider the hunter, the image of the hunter to be offensive, certainly there are groups that would consider the Comanche Indian chief to be offensive."
But now the school is backtracking and apologizing for making Haley change her shirt, the Times says. Okay, "apologize" might be a strong word but the school said it's okay for Haley to wear the shirt and that it will be training school's staff to make sure "an incident like this does not occur again."
The school may be, well, gun-shy about what its students wear to school. Canyon High School used to host "Señores and Señoritas Day," which was a chance for students to show off a broad array of latino stereotypes: some dressed like pregnant women pushing strollers, others were gang members and gardeners and some even dressed up like border patrol agents arresting immigrants for some fun role-playing action.