A California history teacher and his colleagues are getting schooled on guns after parents complained the teacher berated their children in class over a pro-NRA shirt that did not violate the school dress code.
The Lodi Unified School District issued a statement this week promising to better educate teachers and staff about the school dress code following a dispute between the anti-gun teacher and two sophomores who wore NRA shirts to class last Friday, CBS Sacramento reports.
District spokeswoman Chelsea Vongehr told the news site “the school administration reviewed the t-shirt in question and determined it did not violate school dress code policy.”
Charlene Craig said her daughter was one of the two Lodi High School who came to class wearing the NRA shirt, which included shell casings depicting the American flag on the back, along with the words “National Rifle Association.” On the front, it simply read “NRA,” with no images of guns or violence.
Craig said the two sophomores were singled out by their teacher in class, where they received a lecture about why their beliefs are wrong and guns are bad.
“She was being attacked, basically, in class,” Craig said. “He … yelled at her, told her she would be writing an essay if she disagreed with him.”
The teacher, who was not identified, allegedly told the teens “that guns kill people,” the mother said.
The girls wore the shirts as a symbol of the values they’ve growing up with in farming and hunting families, Craig said.
“That’s what she is, that’s what she does,” she said.
Craig said the teacher lectured her daughter and sent the other student to the principal’s office for refusing to change the shirt, both of which were the wrong course of action.
“I think he’s there to teach. I don’t think he’s there to discuss his personal beliefs,” Craig said. “The dress code clearly states (images of) ‘weapons’” are prohibited on student clothing.
“The student was promptly returned to class and the school administration contacted the family to apologize,” Vongehr wrote in an email to The Washington Post. “The District and school site will continue to ensure that all staff are aware of the dress code requirements to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future.”
Craig said the incident won’t deter her daughter from standing up for what she believes in.
“I am going to continue to send my daughter to school in (the NRA shirt),” she said. “I don’t see that there’s a problem.”
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: Two #California teenagers were harassed by their anti-#gun history teacher last week. How would you handle the situation if this were your child’s school? #NRA #2A #DefendtheSecond https://t.co/6YE6MCFZuF
— NRA (@NRA) August 7, 2018
The NRA, meanwhile, weighed in on the controversy on Twitter.
“YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: Two #California teenagers were harassed by their anti-#gun history teacher last week,” the organization posted, along with a link to the CBS Sacramento story. “How would you handle the situation if this were your child’s school? #NRA #2A #DefendtheSecond”