ROSEVILLE, Mich. – Parents are raging after a Detroit area school district sent a packet to parents that lists the U.S. flag among items banned by the school dress code.
“A student’s dress should not interfere with the learning environment,” Roseville Community School officials wrote. “The following are prohibited:”
The items include the typical slippers and sagging pants, spaghetti straps and bare midriff tops, but between “Hats or head gear” and “Low cut shirts,” the letter lists “U.S. Flag.”
Parents and others raged on Facebook Thursday.
“So … Roseville high schools sent out the back to schools pack. Looking over the dress code this year. Most of it I get … however … When I see U.S. flag I couldn’t believe what I was reading,” parent Heather Marie posted along with a picture of the letter.
“Roseville you are a God damn disgrace for banning U.S. flag tee shirts,” John Boden posted.
“The superintendent should be fired,” Daniel Zarzycki wrote. “He had to read the publication before it was sent out.”
“This is the United States of America. How dare you ban our flag. Let’s ban you,” Jamie Michelle wrote.
It didn’t take long for school officials to clarify the “error.”
“An informational packet was mailed out this week with an error,” according to a statement on the Roseville Community Schools website. “We apologize for the incorrect statement that was in reference to the US Flag. The statement that was published should have specified that the flag should not be worn in a demeaning manner.
“Roseville has a long history of working with the VFW and other patriotic groups. We would never ban the appropriate display of the American flag. The exact language can be found on Page 34 of the Roseville High School student handbook which is available online.”
The handbook includes a similar list of prohibited apparel, and states “flags shall not be worn in demeaning manner,” but does not specifically state U.S. flag or define what constitutes a “demeaning manner.”
“Whether or not a student is dressed appropriately or properly groomed shall be left to the discretion of the principal or designee,” the policy reads. “A student whose clothing or apparel violates the dress code will be subject to the code of conduct and must change the appropriate clothing or be sent home.”
Roseville Community Schools officials did not immediately return a request for clarification about the policy.
Several folks online pointed out that wearing the U.S. flag as a cape or other similar manner violates the U.S. Code for respecting the flag, while others seemed to think officials intended to ban images of the American flag from student clothing and concocted the “error” amid the public backlash.
“They are trying to cover their actions,” Chris Carriveau posted to Facebook. “When letters get made and sent home before they make copies they proofread them several times. This is no accident they just realized that they have offended a lot of people and now want to try to fix their mistakes.”