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Oklahoma kindergartener forced to turn Michigan shirt inside out

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer

Here's an early candidate for the most ridiculous story you'll hear about all day.

A five-year old in Oklahoma was forced to turn his Michigan t-shirt inside out when attending his kindergarten class. Yes, you read that right. It seems that according to the dress code for public schools in Oklahoma City, the only college apparel students are allowed to wear are Oklahoma or Oklahoma State gear.

"They should really worry about academics. It wasn't offensive. He's five," said five-year old Cooper Barton's mother, Shannon Barton.

Now, the reason only Oklahoma or Oklahoma State apparel is allowed has nothing to do with homerism, or even rivalries -- though if you're Tulsa right now you're wondering how you can break into this Oklahoma City monopoly -- but is related to gangs.

"This has presented an opportunity to review the current OKCPS District Dress Code Policy that has been in place since 2005," said OKCPS superintendent Karl Springer in a statement. "It states that clothing bearing names or emblems of all professional and collegiate athletic teams (with the exception of Oklahoma colleges and universities) are prohibited. In cooperation with the Oklahoma City Police Department Gang Task Force, the policy was approved in 2005 after concerns that nationwide gangs used popular sports clothing to represent individual gangs. As when any policy is questioned; OKCPS administration will review the policy to determine if changes need to be made."

And I'm sure you've all heard of the infamous "Five-Year Old Michigan Gang." They've terrorized the country for years. Five years to be exact.

Seriously, I understand the motive behind this rule, and the reasoning for putting it in place, but that still doesn't mean it isn't idiotic to force a five year old kid to turn his shirt inside out because it has a Michigan logo on it.

If it had a Texas logo on it, okay, I understand.

As for how this whole ordeal will work out for young Cooper Barton, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said on Wednesday that he was inviting Cooper and his parents to Ann Arbor for a Michigan game.

If Cooper shows up to the game in an Oklahoma shirt he'll become my favorite kid of all time.

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