Today’s Overreacting School Official

Student moves from South Carolina to Louisiana. Still loyal to her home state’s team, she wears a Gamecocks shirt to school. Bad move:

When she wore a Gamecocks t-shirt to school recently, one of her teachers sent her to the principal’s office. The front of the shirt references former quarterback Chris Smelley, and the back says “Smelley rocks, go Cocks.”

The school handbook gives teachers discretion to identify offensive shirts, and Cherokee’s teacher says she was offended.

Cherokee was suspended.

“Smelley” refers to former quarterback Chris Smelley. The front of the shirt said “Our quarterback may be Smelley, but your whole team stinks.” The back simply referred to the team: The Gamecocks.

Sure, the shortened form of the mascot is a double entendre. Of course, nothing on the shirt remotely suggests that the sexual meaning was intended. The only subject of the shirt is football, so there’s no reason to read this as anything other than the shortened version of the team, like saying “Hook ‘Em Horns” or calling your team the Irish instead of the Fighting Irishmen, or the Canes instead of the Hurricanes. The teacher obviously read it sexually, but she read it into the shirt, not from the shirt. Clearly, her mind is the one in the gutter.

But even if the student intended both meanings, that’s no reason to send her out of class, never mind suspend her. Geez, it’s not a reason to reprimand her AT ALL. It just is not possible for that shirt to harm another student or disrupt the class. That it offends the teacher ought to be irrelevant. It’s a funny shirt, laugh. Then teach the lesson and save your energy for real problems.

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One Comment on “Today’s Overreacting School Official”

  1. KC Says:

    perhaps the teacher was sensitive to the “smelley” reference and the whole LSU fans and corndogs thing?


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