Girl called racist for wearing Palin T-shirt

Filed under: Teens, In The News, Playground Bureau, Weird But True, Media, Day Care & Education

sarah palin t-shirt

Ashleigh Jones got a lot more than she bargained for when she recently donned a "Go, Sarah, Go" T-shirt and wore it to school. The twelve-year-old Florida native was called a racist by her classmates at New Smyrna Beach Middle School. Jones had volunteered with the local Republicans, who gave her the pink T-shirt supporting VP candidate Sarah Palin, which she proudly wore to school. Jones contends that because she is white her classmates called her racist because she was promoting the white candidate. I'm sorry -- that's just plain stupid. If that were the case then all of us would be racists as ALL the candidates, up until now, have been white! The seventh grader was clearly only exercising her right to her opinion.

Her parents aren't upset with the school, but they do think all the students should be able to voice their opinions more constructively than calling their daughter a racist. That word is a very loaded one that you can't walk away from easily once you're labeled with it.

Some schools ban the wearing of certain items or have strict dress codes which are intended to keep everything status quo and avoid a ruffle like the one at Smyrna. Still, regardless of what rules are imposed, people will make their opinions known, and many would say they should be allowed to express those opinions. Is school the appropriate setting for children to be discussing politics and expressing their political opinions? I don't see why not -- in fact, what better place?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.