Student asked to remove 'Redneck of the year' T-shirt
Duck Dynasty shirt causing controversy at Duval Co. middle school
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville family is upset with Duval County school's code of conduct rules.
Bronwyn Ramsey's son was told to change his shirt during school Wednesday because he was told the shirt was "offensive."
"If anything we work hard to instill good moral values and family values in our children and to me, this was almost like a slap in the face," said Bronwyn Ramsey.
Ramsey's son left for school Wednesday wearing a "Duck Dynasty" T-shirt. The shirt reads, "Redneck of the Year," with a picture of one of the stars from the popular A&E show.
"I don't feel like it's a violation of the school's code of conduct. It does not promote drugs, drinking, alcohol or violence," said Ramsey.
Ramsey's son, 14-year-old Christopher Olsen, was told that the shirt did violate Mandarin Middle School's code of conduct.
According to Duval County schools, a student's clothing can be enforced by teachers, but they don't have any specific rules when it comes to wearing something with the word "Redneck" on it.
"One of these ladies at the school walked in and asked me why I was wearing this shirt, 'It's a slur,'" said Olsen.
"I personally didn't feel like it was negative," said Ramsey. "I mean, redneck to me is a hard working person from back in the day. It's a culture, it's a way of life and I just didn't feel like that should be a slur, be labeled a slur."
This isn't the first time the word "redneck" has been an issue within the Duval County Public School District. In January, former Duval Schools spokeswoman Jill Johnson was re-assigned after using the word to describe her husband.
In this most recent incident, the district says the attire falls under its code of conduct.
"School educators and administration use the code of conduct as a tool to guide decisions regarding the school environment," said Supervisor, External Communications & Media Relations for Duval Schools, Tia Ford.
Ramsey argues that the shirt doesn't promote drugs, alcohol or violence and she thinks there are bigger issues in school that teachers should be concerned about.
"I think they made a mountain out of a mole hill and I do not feel, I feel like there are bigger fish to fry than to worry about a simple little shirt of a national TV show that my son happened to wear one day at school," said Ramsey.
Ramsey plans on speaking with the principal at Mandarin Middle School on Thursday to see if there is an agreement or compromise that can be reached in regard to her son's T-shirt. Christopher told Channel 4 that he has two other Duck Dynasty shirts that don't have the word "redneck" on them and he said he'll continue to wear those shirts to school.
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