BREAKING: CA School Apologizes to NRA Shirt-Wearing Teen

Haley Bullwinkle in her NRA T-shirt (courtesy theblaze.com)

What’s this? Fan mail from some flounder? Nope. An apology from Michael Christensen, the Superintendent of Schools, Orange County Unified School District, to Haley Bullwinkle, the student forced to change out of her NRA shirt because “it depicted violence.”

“Canyon High School has a policy prohibiting clothing depicting or promoting violence.  In this incident, a student was referred to the counseling office by a security officer because she was wearing a shirt with a logo that included a rifle.  The student was instructed by a staff member to change her shirt and was provided another shirt to wear . . .

The parents contacted the principal a week after the incident to express concern.  At that time, the principal was unaware of the incident and provided an initial response regarding the school policy on clothing that depicts violence.  After reviewing pictures of the shirt, the principal determined that the shirt logo does not promote violence.

The family was contacted and advised that wearing the shirt was not contrary to the school dress code policy and the student will be permitted to wear the shirt.  The student and family received an apology and assurance that training will be provided to staff so an incident like this does not occur again.

 

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

42 Responses to BREAKING: CA School Apologizes to NRA Shirt-Wearing Teen

  1. avatarBrennan says:

    It’s the little things..

    Didn’t the NRA have to step in to get this apology?

    • avatarAndrew says:

      Forget the shirt – the real issue at this school is the step team and their MURDEROUS fake wood rifles.

      CoughCoughAndTheInjunLogoCoughCough

      • avatarMichael Marriam says:

        I see your point. The real issue is that the public school system is so vested in vilifying guns that they can’t let them be seen in any positive light: even in the context of civil rights. Kids are brought to a condition of abject fear with respect to guns and nothing can cause that fear to abate in the slightest. That would imply a loss of control and one thing government agents hate is loss of control.

    • avatarBlue says:

      A similar thing happened in WV. That kid was actually arrested by police but the charges were eventually dropped. I have a couple of T-Shirts with a Spartan Helmet and ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑβΕ on them. That is what she should wear next.

      • avatarRich Grise says:

        What’s up with the foreign language?

        • avatarBlue says:

          When Xerces and his 500,000 Persians told Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 men to lay down there weapons, Leonidas responded, “Come Take Them!” That is the response in Greek.

      • avatarint19h says:

        FYI, uppercase beta looks exactly like “B”; “β” is lowercase.

        • avatarBlue says:

          FYI, I didn’t create that font. However, it is still a beta. I am guessing the original designer chose that one so it would be more obviously Greek. How about all lower case? μολὼν λαβέ

        • avatarBlue says:

          Of course, ancient Greek letters looked different from the Latin letters that came later.

    • avatarDisThunder says:

      I think the NRA has a job to do here…

      …send that school a shitload of t-shirts.
      And every tactical gear outfit that makes gear should send that girl some too.

  2. avatarthatoneguy says:

    Not enough. Fire the school employees. Pretty sure this only happened because daddy retained a lawyer and CA schools are beyond broke.

    • avatarOld Ben turning in grave says:

      Pursuing this after they have already won would be counter-productive. If your enemy surrenders, let them. Don’t keep pressing them into a corner. There are other battles to fight.

    • avatarDrVino says:

      Chuck Michel, the NRA’s lead attorney in CA did the case pro bono.

      • avatarDennis says:

        Good on him. I’m thinking this was probably his light-work, and by that I mean that the school district lawyers were no competition.

  3. avatarJeff the Griz says:

    And with that the NRA just sold about 50 more T Shirts to this young ladie’s classmates. Isn’t funny how public schools react when shunned by media?

  4. avatarFlintLock says:

    What they would have done if the shirt simply had the text of the 2nd Amendment and period-correct pictures of minutemen with, you know, muskets?

    Next thing you know they’ll ban Massachusetts state quarters from the vending machines.

    • avatarCRZ says:

      I’m pretty sure Massachusetts state legislation is going to have that rifle removed from the quarter any day now.

  5. avatarMrbadnews says:

    So,.. had she worn a shirt say,..depicting something from the movie Hunger Games. Would that promote violence? I’ve seen T-Shirts showing the main character with a drawn and ready bow. What about Manufacturer logos. I saw a kid with a Winchester t-shirt not to long ago.I think it had one of their shotguns on the shirt. And what about kids who hunt. Hunting is pretty big here in the south east. Every other boy in school sports camo 4 days a week in the off season. I’ve seen shirts depicting hunting scenes with rifle at the ready or an animal under cross-hairs. What if a High-schooler is reading something like,..oh, say, Titus Andronicus or Lord of the Flies or Heart of Darkness, or any number of other classics that explore that side of mankind.

    • avatarJeff the Griz says:

      I think your giving too much credit to 99% of the teenage population of our country when asking about classic literature. I’ve been out of Highschool 14 years and my senior year I was the only one to have checked out any books not required for English classes in 3-10 years. I remember my English 101 class at a community college, first day of class instructor named off multiple books and authors, most of the class had that dumb look of confusion on their face. I think maybe a better example might be how a lot of our society is starting to accept the violent video games, and the “swag” that accompanies them. I myself have a few COD shirts in the closet.

  6. avatarBob4 says:

    I am sure that lawyers advised the school staff to apologize or face a big lawsuit.

    • avatarSertorius says:

      +1.

      This. Law on this sort of thing is pretty clear now, and the school district’s actions were absolutely unconstitutional.

      • avatargreat unknown says:

        In fact, while the Supreme Court has applied weakened first amendment rights to school children, California law actually gives them even stronger protection.

        To be fair, the original story seems to be somewhat distorted. Based on the latest update, the whole thing was an initiative of a security guard – hardly to be expected to be a legal scholar. As for the counselling office – almost by definition they comprise social science graduates, which means they not only don’t they know the law, they don’t care: feelings are all.

  7. avatarJohnO says:

    I wonder how many emails they got. I sent a polite one to the principal. Also wonder if she opened it….

  8. avatarRandallOfLegend says:

    I hope she’s wearing an NRA shirt because she understands why the 2nd Amendment is important, and not just being a parrot for her parents.

    • avatarBlue says:

      I would wager that this young lady knows more about it than Stretch Pelosi (former double-speaker of The House), Feinstaink, Boxer and Moon Beam combined. Furthermore, she is probably more qualified to be in The House than Wax-man.

  9. avatarAl says:

    They should get Boris and Natasha on the case!

  10. avatarJim says:

    This is why we can’t abandon CA. Looks like we’re making some progress, despite their clear disdain for all thing 2A related. Unfortunately, I doubt their Governor will veto any of the bills. Just as good. It’s pretty clear that the only thing that can save CA gun rights at this point is a clear Supreme Court ruling. Not a pleasant thought to have to rely on that, but it’s certainly the reality.

  11. avatarJoe Grine says:

    I hope that apology came with a 10K to 20K check. Otherwise, I’d keep the lawsuit going.

  12. avatar505markf says:

    When we win one, let’s try to be a tad generous. Anyone can make a mistake, right? Sure, it’s a bad one to us, but they apologized and commit to re-training to avoid similar problems in the future.

    Oh, and verify. ALWAYS verify that they followed through on that re-training. Being gentlemen winners doesn’t mean being stupid.

  13. avatarTheBear says:

    I am just glad that a school issued an apology for once in relation to one of these constitutional free speech violations.

    Speaking of which, at work I’ve found great success now in comparing gun rights to gay rights. I explained to a liberal friend that if you replace “gun owners” with “gays” and consider the fact that we have the 2nd amendment to our constitution, AND the fact that around 50% of the US are gun owners, the current push for gun control is rather draconian.

    It worked like a charm. Seriously, try it. Ask your liberal friends if they feel gays should need to have background checks prior to coming out of the closet or “common sense” regulations on how often they can go to a club.

    When the person at work pointed out that we aren’t talking about gays “mowing down children”, I said if there were an anti-gay agenda, we could go find some statistics showing how many gay people have been involved in a DUI or vehicular homicide per year etc. I said I’m sure we could find some number somewhere of gays involved in muggings, or murders, or anything negative if that was our goal.

    The point that bad stuff happens and trying to point the finger at one specific group for a political agenda actually got across. Score one for me!

  14. avatarDirk Diggler says:

    fire the guard. make it public and brutal

  15. avatarJeh says:

    So school districts have a problem with NRA t-shirts but the shirts that say “Sperm Dumpster” “Thug Life” and show Bob Marley smoking weed are a-ok?

  16. avatarAccur81 says:

    CA is only mostly dead.

  17. avatarRalph says:

    The Imperial Superintendent has rendered a decision and it is wise. Let us all genuflect before the brilliance that is Michael Christensen.

    What a crock. He decided that the shirt was okay? Really? Who the fvck is he to decide what the Constitution has already determined.

  18. avatarIdahoPete says:

    “… and assurance that training will be provided to staff so an incident like this does not occur again.”

    Translation: “Oh sh*t, we got caught banning the NRA shirt! Stinkin’ internet! Now we have to try to weasel out of a 1st Amendment lawsuit!”

  19. avatarJoshuaS says:

    And this is why pro-gunners often lose the culture war here.

    Bitter idiots often. Rather than accepting victory, they have to assume evil behind every corner.

    This was not, it itself, a first amendment issue. You guys really make yourselves look idiotic with the rhetoric. Schools can mandate uniforms, after all. They can also ban clothing with messages. The only iffy area is if they allow some clothing with messages and not others, but even there if the clothing is disruptive, etc. This does not touch on 1st amendment issues, anymore than me casting you out of my house for vulgarity is the same as Congress passing a law against your stupid speech.

    Oh, and it is Orange County here…as in, we vote against Democrats Orange County. Stronghold of the GOP Orange County…Painting with a broadbrush is just stupid.

    Be happy they owned up to a mistake and drop it. You are not going to win a lawsuit and you are not going to look anything other than petty for trying.

  20. avatarJonathan -- Houston says:

    How do these silly schoolhouse showdowns play out in states whose own seals or flags depict firearms or other weapons? Those would include Delaware, Massachusetts, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Georgia.

    Others include icons which, while not explicitly or necessarily weapons themselves, such as shields, helmets, and scales of justice, nevertheless do imply violence as backing up the force of law. I guess those are ok because that’s government-initiated violence, as opposed to the common citizenry’s self-defense?

  21. avatarKendahl says:

    There is a lesson for all of us in the difference between this incident and the one in West Virginia. In West Virginia, the boy’s refusal to obey school administrators led them to involve the police. Although charges against the boy were dropped and the school backed down, the entire situation was messier than needed. In California, the girl cooperated temporarily until she could get her parents to object on her behalf. Again, the school backed down and there was nothing about the girl’s behavior to which they could object. When dealing with school officials, it’s the parents’ duty to stand up for their children. The children are in no position to stand up for themselves unless it’s a question of immediate physical danger.

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