*Mariah Havard, a tenth grader at Buckeye High School in Arizona, thought she would leave a lasting impression of her time as a student by rocking a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt on picture day. But when she turned up wearing a shirt with the phrase on it, administrators informed her that making such a statement isn’t allowed.
“I wasn’t able to wear the shirt anymore because somebody made a complaint,” Havard told NBC 4. “I was a little bit confused as to why I wouldn’t be able to wear something so meaningful to me.”
According to 15-year-old Havard, the shirt violated the school’s dress policy. She says the assistant principal said the policy bans clothing and accessories which can “disrupt the educational process.”
Havard immediately called her mother.
“She was asked to change and she didn’t question them — she was being respectful,” said Roxanne Havard, Mariah’s mother. “She went in the bathroom and was thinking about why she had to change.”
Havard’s family and supporters believe she was treated unfairly, especially since the school has a history of allowing students to wear shirts supporting a cause. Too bad they didn’t get the memo stating that celebrating the unity or accomplishments of black people, or even calling for black equality, is not socially acceptable in America.
But if you’re a Confederate flag loving racist, or gay and trans, and feel like wearing a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirt to school, you probably won’t find too much push back from school officials.
The next day, fellow African-American student Genesis Santoyo wore her Black Lives Matter shirt in support of her friend. She was also asked to take it off.
“I felt like I was being punished for who I am,” said Genesis. “I’ve seen gay pride shirts, I’ve seen confederate flags. I’ve actually seen a white power shirt once.”
After Santoyo filed a complaint claiming the school had a double standard, officials banned Confederate flag clothing from campus.