A school district in Texas has told the twin 5th grade daughters of a U.S. Air Force Iraq War veteran that they cannot wear their new coats to school because they coats have a large emblem and the words “U.S. Air Force” on the back. School officials say it violates the dress code.
The father of the girls is Phil Rolen, a regular contributor to Media Trackers. In a viral Facebook post published last night, Rolen slammed officials at Aubrey Middle School in Aubrey, Texas and has vowed to fight school officials to change the policy.
According to Rolen, the apparel in question are two zip-up coats with hoods, one black, one pink. They are made of sweatshirt material.
Aubrey is a small town of just over 2,000 people on the north end of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. According to the Aubrey Independent School District’s dress code published on its website, the students must adhere to a fairly strict dress code, and no shirt, sweater, or hoodie may contain an emblem more than one-and a-half-inches by one-and-a-half inches. The code is less clear when it comes to jackets.
“Sweaters, sweatshirts or hoodies that advertise by name, symbol, or slogan any store/designer brand are not acceptable, except those containing ONE emblem measuring no more than 1.5”x1.5,” states the code.
It is unclear how the U.S. Air Force emblem qualifies as a “designer brand.” The dress code does make it clear that shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies may contain a large Aubrey schools spirit logo. That apparel must be purchased from the school district.
“They can wear anything with an emblem that is peddled and sold by the district, but apparently not anything with a military emblem,” Rolen stated in a telephone interview with Media Trackers.
When asked about how they were going to respond to the school officials, Rolen insisted that his daughters would be allowed to continue wearing the coats to school.
“I said that my girls were going to continue wearing the jackets,” he said.
Rolen said that the principal of Aubrey Middle School, Karen Wright, was cordial when they discussed the matter, but insisted that the coats violated the rules and said that Rolen’s daughters would face detention if they continued to wear them.
“This just completely defies common sense,” Rolen stated.
Rolen also stated his surprise that something like this could happen in a small town in Texas where “the kids still say the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeaker every morning.”
Phil Rolen is an independent contributor to Media Trackers. He formerly as a U.S. House of Representative Wounded Warrior Fellow and is an active-duty Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Joint Taskforce Katrina. He is a current doctoral candidate in the field of Strategic Security and holds an MA in Intelligence Studies from American Military University.
A phone call to the office of Aubrey Independent School District Superintendent Debby Sanders was not immediately returned.