KEY POINTS

  • Jordan Herbert, the student's mother, shared a post about the incident on Facebook
  • She said her son Ben was first told to hide his shirt's message last month
  • When he wore it to school again, he received a punishment

A student in an elementary school in Oklahoma has been punished for wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt.

The student's mother, Jordan Herbert, said in a Facebook post dated May 3 that her son Ben had received punishment for wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt at Charles Evans Elementary.

The 8-year-old student was asked to turn his shirt inside out by the school principal. When he wore it again, he received punishment for having violated the policy from the school's superintendent barring "political" apparel, reported NY Daily News

"My son is 8, he has no idea about politics, and wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt has NOTHIN [sic] to do with politics. He's simply saying his life matters," Herbert explained in her post.

According to Herbert, Ben had already been told to hide his shirt's message a month ago.

The mother of three sent all her children to school wearing the Black Lives Matter shirts Tuesday. Only Ben and his younger sibling were disciplined for what they were wearing while her son Jaelon, who is in middle school, did not receive any punishment, reported NY Daily News.

The disciplinary action taken by the school caused Ben to miss his recess, so he ended up eating his lunch in the office.

The school's handbook states that final decisions on whether logos or sayings are fine to use at school are made by principals. 

In an interview, Ardmore City Schools Superintendent Kim Holland said that it was their interpretation of "not making any disturbance at school."

"I don't want my kids wearing MAGA hats or Trump shirts to school either because it just creates, in this emotionally charged environment, anxiety and issues that I don’t want our kids to deal with," Holland said.

Holland also recalled similar cases within the district and explained that most of them had not been an issue until Herbert became angry about the incident.

After the incident, Herbert and a group of supporters gathered outside the school's vicinity. However, when Ben wore the same shirt to school the following day, he was bullied in class.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma sent a letter Friday to Holland, Denise Brunk, the school principal, and James Foreman Jr., president of Ardmore City School Board of Education for violating students' First Amendment rights, USA Today said in a report.

8-year-old student in Oklahoma punished for wearing black lives matter shirt 8-year-old student in Oklahoma punished for wearing black lives matter shirt Photo: The new York times