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School threatens Tacoma student for Steelers jersey

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Tacoma, Washington student Grendon Bailie was threatened by middle school administrators with an in-school suspension Friday after showing up in a Steelers jersey on “Seahawks Appreciation Day.” Through a spokesperson, the school explained that Bailie had violated dress code by not wearing blue and green, or his standard school uniform.

“It was Seahawks Appreciation Day, and I’m not much of a Seahawks fan,” said Bailie, 13. “I like the Steelers.”

Spokeswoman Tracy Flores argued that Bailie had the option of wearing a gold polo shirt with black slacks, which would’ve passed dress code.

The school threatened Bailie with a suspension if he did not change his clothes immediately.

Instead, Bailie’s father picked up the young boy and took him home.

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54 Responses to “School threatens Tacoma student for Steelers jersey”
  1. contract says: Jan 14, 2011 7:28 PM

    Years later they still haven’t gotten over it. lol :)

  2. 0marooney says: Jan 14, 2011 7:33 PM

    “It was Seahawks Appreciation Day, and I’m not much of a Seahawks fan. I like the Steelers.”

    What a loyal fan, good for him. It’s too bad that the administrators were still salty after losing in the superbowl, but hey, atleast they’re not gonna get back this year!

  3. kairn42 says: Jan 14, 2011 7:36 PM

    Goodell is reviewing the infraction and fines will more than likely be forthcoming…

  4. richieab says: Jan 14, 2011 7:39 PM

    just taking after his idol Ben,,thinks rules dont apply to him..

  5. ninerfan94954 says: Jan 14, 2011 7:39 PM

    It’s heartwarming to know that this school district has all their students performing ahead of grade level so they can concentrate on other issues.

  6. FinFan68 says: Jan 14, 2011 7:47 PM

    Blame the school. If they can relax the dress code for “seahawks” day it should be relaxed completely for that day (except for the obvious stuff). Those kinds of “statements” are just begging for opposition. Don’t do it at all or let it go when somebody does this kind of thing.

  7. halftermguv says: Jan 14, 2011 7:53 PM

    As a Steelers fan you gotta give the kid a hand for bravery by wearing a Steelers jersey into a Seahawks rally.

    The same thing happened in PA in 2005 when a kid showed up in a Seahawks jersey. It’s a free country; lighten up and worry about something that’s important.

  8. hokiez says: Jan 14, 2011 8:07 PM

    Geez this makes me embarrassed to be a Seahawks fan. C’mon he’s a kid.

  9. igottz5onit says: Jan 14, 2011 8:29 PM

    That is awesome that his dad picked him up instead of getting him to change. Go Steelers!

  10. nickster2k says: Jan 14, 2011 8:36 PM

    This must be really embarrassing for the Seahawks and their 12 fans.

  11. mnavia2 says: Jan 14, 2011 8:44 PM

    I am not even close to a steeler fan (come on ravens!!!). But either way I give this kid credit. You root for whoever you like and don’t change that for anyone.

  12. AlanSaysYo says: Jan 14, 2011 9:03 PM

    As if he wasn’t already getting wedgies on a daily basis for being named Grendon.

  13. averagewhitegirl says: Jan 14, 2011 9:03 PM

    School administrator’s need to butt out and let his class mates beat the crap outta him.

  14. steelnucs says: Jan 14, 2011 9:08 PM

    Yeah, you wonder if the reaction would have been the same if the kid had been a Lions or Jags fan, or some other team with colors close to the Seahawks, if the supposed problem was the colors he wore.

    Good for him; so much for the supposed open-mindedness of the great northwest.

  15. bspn2 says: Jan 14, 2011 9:17 PM

    Tacoma…now there’s a crap-hole of a city.

    Congrats to this kid for standing his ground.

  16. jimmy1smith says: Jan 14, 2011 9:28 PM

    The kid was seen hanging out around the girl’s bathroom with another guy who was to serve as his lookout.

    No wonder the school sent him home.

  17. gdonz14 says: Jan 14, 2011 9:39 PM

    The only cool kid at “George Orwell Middle School” in Tacoma. I thought those liberal elitist PacNorthwesterners were all about individual expression and non-conformity – WTF?? Sounds like the Principal aka Gorbachev circa 1984 was ready to ship that kid off to a Siberian Gulag. “I’m so freaking jacked up right now!!!!”

  18. nfl4ever says: Jan 14, 2011 10:30 PM

    gdonz14 says:
    Jan 14, 2011 9:39 PM
    The only cool kid at “George Orwell Middle School” in Tacoma. I thought those liberal elitist PacNorthwesterners were all about individual expression and non-conformity – WTF?? Sounds like the Principal aka Gorbachev circa 1984 was ready to ship that kid off to a Siberian Gulag. “I’m so freaking jacked up right now!!!!”
    —————————————————
    No sir, Liberals are about “Group Think” individualism has no place in their word, or this school for that matter.

  19. smellmyface says: Jan 14, 2011 10:32 PM

    Way to get some pub kid. It was Seattle day not wear your fav. jersey to school day. Wouldnt be surprised if his parents ran out and bought the jersay the night before so they could be on the local news.

  20. effthaeffinjetsgofins says: Jan 14, 2011 10:43 PM

    The Seahawks did win that Super Bowl, but the officials didn’t allow it.

  21. kosarsmyidol says: Jan 14, 2011 11:12 PM

    I know that it would suck to be surrounded by Seahawks gear when your favorite team was also set to play a big game, but don’t be an @sshole about it. He could’ve still gone with the Steelers colors without violating the dress code, but chose not to.

    By just taking him home, his dad reinforced his kid’s d!ck behavior. My middle school had uniforms, and my dad would have kicked my @ss had he been forced to leave work to deal with a uniform violation.

  22. indycolt45 says: Jan 15, 2011 12:39 AM

    I don’t see the problem. The dress code for the day was normal school uniform or a Seahawk jersey. The kid didn’t follow the dress code and was punished accordingly. Whoopty?

  23. polamalusboyfriend says: Jan 15, 2011 1:49 AM

    I’m sure the kid’s two dads picked him up in their matching Big Ben jerseys.

    Way to encourage your kid to follow the rules.

  24. thetooloftools says: Jan 15, 2011 1:50 AM

    This is a sad commentary on school administrators with WAY too much time on their hands.

  25. thetooloftools says: Jan 15, 2011 1:53 AM

    By the way… my mom sent me to school in the 70′s with a shirt she bought me on a trip to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Neither of us knew at the time it was a huge pot leaf.
    No kidding.

  26. rymexico says: Jan 15, 2011 2:36 AM

    Sending the child home won’t make Hasselbeck suck less, but I guess anything is worth a try.

  27. bartpkelly says: Jan 15, 2011 3:52 AM

    This story is simply not true. The father made it out to be ‘because of a Steelers Jersey’ but it isn’t that. There were no Seahawks jerseys either. Just colors, blue and green with collared shirts and pants. He could have chosen different colors, like black and gold, but he went the jersey route.

  28. bobhk says: Jan 15, 2011 4:29 AM

    This is pathetically bad. We in America have such emphasis on crap like which sports teams to root for that we have to stoop to this level. These are kids for goodness sakes….

  29. tatum064 says: Jan 15, 2011 6:13 AM

    Absolutely right. Right on Tacoma. You got hosed in that Super Bowl v. the Steelers, anyway. They probably did that on general principal.

    Its about individual expression, but the Seahawks were coming off a very big upset, one of the biggest in history. Its called “common sense”.

    Same issue would occur if someone worked Stanford gear going into Memorial Stadium ,or if someone wore Bama gear in Auburn’s section. Do so at your own risk.

  30. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 15, 2011 7:56 AM

    I don’t see where the school has a leg to stand on.
    Once they dropped their school uniform dress code to allow football attire, the kid should be free to wear whatever he wanted.

    I guess the folks in Tacoma never heard of the First Amendment.

    He should consider suing. He’d win, and big.

  31. tombrookshire says: Jan 15, 2011 7:58 AM

    Good ole American freedom of speech. It’s scary what this country is becoming, starting with jersey nazis in school administration positions. Think about it. You can no longer express your personal preference or have a divergent point of view in a school? If I were the kid’s parent, I would raise a civil liberty s**tstorm around this kid’s first ammendment right of free speech ….if, eh, we still have that right. Could someone check on that and get back to me?

  32. kmitch218 says: Jan 15, 2011 8:02 AM

    What better way to show appreciation for the Seahawks than to wear a Steelers jersey?

    Get over yourselves.

  33. mrone50 says: Jan 15, 2011 8:41 AM

    The color spectrum is too confusing to Steeler fans give the kid a break.

  34. unbreakable02215 says: Jan 15, 2011 8:43 AM

    Every year you hear about one of these stories.
    Ain’t this America ? I mean WTF. Unless the kid is
    wearing a T-shirt that’s saying something like
    “Tranny’s Are People Too” what is he actually doing
    wrong ? Get off his back man. Unless the shirt is
    offensive (being a Pats fan I find all Steeler jerseys
    offensive mind you) what harm is he doing by
    wearing a jersey of his favorite team ??!??!

    BTW I own a Tranny’s are People Too T-shirt and
    none a you cyclops better have a problem wit dat !

  35. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 15, 2011 8:50 AM

    richieab says: Jan 14, 2011 7:39 PM

    “just taking after his idol Ben,,thinks rules dont apply to him..”

    Why? because the kid showed he can think for himself, instead of being just another mindless follower that the government run education system wants?
    They clearly succeeded in your case.

  36. blackglass3 says: Jan 15, 2011 9:03 AM

    Good for him. Stupid schools making up rules on the fly. And good for his dad, just saying “F*ck it” and bringing him home.

  37. edgarpoe2 says: Jan 15, 2011 9:16 AM

    his was not an anti-Steelers ploy. Seattle is in Washington. The event was “Seahawk Appreciation Day” for the local team. The rules were clear. If Pittsburgh were another local team they should have been allowed to be represented. But Pittsburgh is 3000 miles away.

    My school always had appreciation days for our local pro teams. The players even came to the schools. It was fun for all.

    The rules were set up and the kid broke them. There could be an argument that the school could changed the rules in the future. In the meantime, he just should have gone to school in regular attire. The school acted properly under the conditions.

  38. sdw2001 says: Jan 15, 2011 9:20 AM

    I am a public school teacher. As such,I can tell you that the school’s actions will NEVER fly. Never. We have these kind of days too (Eagles day). But we also make it “Eagles or your favorite team” day. No way the school is going to get away with punishing him for wearing another jersey.

  39. sdw2001 says: Jan 15, 2011 9:42 AM

    edgarpoe2:

    his was not an anti-Steelers ploy. Seattle is in Washington. The event was “Seahawk Appreciation Day” for the local team. The rules were clear. If Pittsburgh were another local team they should have been allowed to be represented. But Pittsburgh is 3000 miles away.

    My school always had appreciation days for our local pro teams. The players even came to the schools. It was fun for all.

    The rules were set up and the kid broke them. There could be an argument that the school could changed the rules in the future. In the meantime, he just should have gone to school in regular attire. The school acted properly under the conditions.

    ==================================

    I’m sorry, but you are wrong. It has nothing to do with proximity. The school will not get away with this. I have been a public school teacher for 12 years, and school board member at one point. I’m telling you…it’s not going to fly.

  40. 420fan says: Jan 15, 2011 10:18 AM

    your either with us or against us…..

    sounds familiar

    and its starting earlier and earlier now…

  41. masteel says: Jan 15, 2011 10:29 AM

    in the words of TV (movie) Anchor – Ron Burgundy ….

    “Tacoma … discovered so many years ago – in German it means a Whale’s Weeny …yup thats it”

    Just having some fun. Lighten up Tacoma!! Sheesh it’s a kid.

  42. dixon29 says: Jan 15, 2011 10:30 AM

    A dress code is a dress code. He had two choices, wear the usual uniform, or wear Seahawk colors. The kid obviously has trouble following the rules.

  43. abninf says: Jan 15, 2011 10:33 AM

    Probably more Dallas fans in Tacoma than Steelers and Seahawks put together. Of course that’s everywhere.

  44. darthvader89 says: Jan 15, 2011 10:40 AM

    Ravens fan that I am, this is stupid, the school should be sued or something for being able to discriminate over what NFL team jersey you are allowed to wear.

  45. ArtModellsPimp says: Jan 15, 2011 10:43 AM

    I don’t like the Steelers, and I care even less for their fans.

    But the kid and his Dad had it right.

    That being said, allowing your son to wear a Steelers jersey has to be some form of child abuse…

  46. dmobey says: Jan 15, 2011 11:05 AM

    You guys are a hoot.

    Yes, wearing a jersey to school is a Constitutional right.

    He should sue. He was so damaged.

    For being such self proclaimed tough guys, it’s funny to hear “I’d sue. Whaaaaaa”.

    Hillbillies.

  47. richieab says: Jan 15, 2011 11:32 AM

    I am all for steeler fans moving to seattle..we need more english speahing janitors and 7/11 wokers

  48. Robert says: Jan 15, 2011 11:38 AM

    It is nice to see the Nazi spirit alive and well in Tacoma.

    Adolph’s minions have migrated to the Northwest..

    Bears are going to knock the ‘Toucan Sam’s’ out anyway, so the Tacoma Gestapo can back to worshipping their hero Mr Hitler.

    Bears 34 Tidy Bowl Cleaner Uniforms 3

  49. robsterny says: Jan 15, 2011 11:49 AM

    Good for you son!!
    Your school officials are pretty stupid. Dont they realize that the best way to handle things like this is to respect YOUR right to choose.
    Another example of PC stupidity.

  50. fcougar69 says: Jan 15, 2011 1:06 PM

    This really pisses me off. Attention whores, that’s all the family is!!! The son asked if he could wear the jersey and the Vise Principle said no, or else… The kid asked father and father allowed him to wear it. Both kid and father are wrong here. This is a school with rules and a dress code. Just like my work, which has uniforms (dress code), we were allowed to wear a Seahawks hat and only a Seahawks hat. We were not allowed to wear ANYTHING else. If we wore anything other than a seahawks hat, we would have been in trouble. What the father taught his son here is that no matter what the rule is or perhaps even a law, that if you want to contest it… go ahead! Will he be teaching his son that if the posted speed limit is 35 but he wants to do 55 it’s ok for him to do it? Most people have learned that if you drive 55 in a 35 you may get caught and if you do, YOU GET IN TROUBLE for breaking the rules. If the school allowed a Steelers jersey, then why not any jersey? And for the kid who doesn’t like football at all then why not his favorite rock band t-shirt? When does it stop? The school allowed a change in uniform for one day, and allowed only another type of uniform to be worn, that’s all! This family like most that don’t follow rules decided they would do their own thing and then go to the media about it. ATTENTION WHORES! If you like Pittsburg so much, then move back.
    Pittsburg… the true STEALERS of Superbowl XL

  51. Deb says: Jan 15, 2011 2:04 PM

    @FoozieGrooler …

    Did you really suggest this family sue over something this irrelevant?

    It was Seahawk Appreciation Day so instead of their usual uniforms, the kids could choose to wear black pants and shirts with teal collars. This kid had the freedom to choose black pants and a shirt with a gold collar if he preferred the Steelers to the Seahawks. Instead he wore a Steelers jersey. Jerseys were not part of the dress code for anyone–including the Seahawks kids. The parents let this kid break the rules just to get attention. And now you think they should waste taxpayer money suing a school system?

    Brilliant.

  52. tacoslinger619 says: Jan 15, 2011 3:21 PM

    RICHARD SIMMONS should raise the 12th man falg every game!!!!

  53. gottaluvsociety says: Jan 20, 2011 4:14 PM

    This is laughable. Seahawk Appreciation Day abbreviated states exactly what this is…S.A.D.!!!!

    Can we get back to real education and issues in schools that truly matter? I swear if my kid was in this school I would transfer him. Just because of the huge issue they made of this and probably still are. Rules or no rules. This is childish.

    Why don’t we have appreciation days for programs, people, organizations and leaders that are actually bettering our societies, instilling values and morals in society, groups or people actually making a difference in this world. We put far too much stock in competitive sports and this is just over the top ridiculous.

    First of all, bad daddy-your kid has to follow the rules. 2nd, the kid is 13-whatever. It’s not a huge deal. It’s really dumb and even worse that someone thought this was actually “news worthy”. 3rd-shame on the school for putting this much energy into this when alls they could have done was call the parents, get a change of clothes for the kid, explain next occurrence consequences and let the family and the rest of the students move on with their lives. Today’s education system is truly failing our kids…is this REALLY what we are going to focus on? C’mon!

  54. gottaluvsociety says: Jan 20, 2011 6:16 PM

    I do have to add too that I am not opposed to challenging authority in certain ways. In response to fcougar69, do you obey every rule and law that is forced upon you? Because I sure don’t. I’m involved in an organization that has proven more than 40% of US law violates the constitution and technically, IF this was worth getting technical about, which it is not, the kid does have the right to wear what his parents ok, a schools rule is nothing more than that and I for one am opposed to school uniforms because it forces kids to live under the same thumbs our government puts on all of us. Jobs are different, you represent your employer w/ your uniform, it identifies that you work there and they sign your paychecks…the comparison is apples and oranges in meaning. This may be a trivial story and issue but it does open a door to much larger issues that we do face in real life every day. If our kids aren’t allowed to express themselves and rebel in petty ways such as this, they grow up w resentment of those rules that held them stagnant and rebel in much harsher ways, ways that can even lead to crime and drugs and sorry if that sounds extreme but it’s actually a scientific fact that children in schools lenient on their dress codes more often graduate high school more than those deemed to dress codes and stricter rules. They are getting higher grades, better scores on SAT’s and better chances w/ better colleges. The studies have gone on for years since Washington’s initial act on enforcing dress codes in various schools. Kids need to be kids and yes, that does mean allowing them to rebel in ways harmless to others so they are less likely to rebel in ways harmFUL to others. And being a parent who educates them on the right and wrong of what they did so they learn consequences. Laws are made when one person screws it up for the rest of us which is exactly WHY these dress codes exist. Do we want to raise our kids to be drones who do everything they are told to, like most of us do w/ our government or do we want to raise them to have a voice and hopefully be parents of the real generation of change? What this kid did did not hurt anyone, what he did was say “I don’t like the Seahawks so I choose to support the team I do like”. That is self expression and in light of recent supreme court rulings on freedom of speech, this qualifies. I think the school completely over reacted and on the devil’s advocate side, the dad should not encourage disobeying rules, but there may have been a lesson here for this kid so who knows. Ppl are far too judgmental and society has lost its way in priorities and what really matters. An appreciation day for a sporting team is just stupid and sorry-but the school had it coming. Did they really think that EVERY kid would get on board w/ this? NO, because despite rules and other policies, there are actually those parents that do teach their kids to think for themselves and I for one think more parents should do this. Schools are not the parents, and they shouldn’t be allowed to act like they are. Stop wiping your hands of everything rule related and get involved.

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