(Billy Hallowell) When 14-year-old Michael McIntyre wore a t-shirt supporting the U.S. Marines to school, he had no idea a national controversy would follow. But that’s exactly what followed after the student at Genoa-Kingston Middle School in Genoa, Ill., was purportedly told to remove the shirt by a teacher who said that it violated the school’s dress code. And according to Fox News, the student was even threatened with suspension.
The shirt, which simply says “Marines,” has an image of two intersecting rifles. According to the boy’s father, it was the guns that captured that teacher’s attention. Michael avoided further problems by turning the shirt inside out, although he had reportedly worn it to school many times without incident.
According to Daniel McIntyre, Michael’s father, the incident unfolded on Monday. Rather than going directly to the school, the parent reached out to media to discuss the story. As a result, the district is claiming that they were unaware of the situation until they were approached by Fox News and asked about it. Daniel apparently contacted the outlet after hearing the story from his son, the Daily Chronicle reports.
Despite the teacher’s actions, Superintendent Joe Burgess told the parent that the district would have overturned the decision had they known about it. While educator Karen Deverell apparently told the student to remove the shirt, protocol for staff members who are unsure whether clothing violates policy is to send the student to the principal who then makes the final determination.