Lodi, CA – Two high school students said they were accosted by their history teacher after they wore t-shirts that expressed their support for the Second Amendment and the National Rifle Association.
The incident occurred at Lodi High School on Aug. 3, when the unnamed teacher spotted two tenth graders wearing the blue t-shirts with the NRA’s small logo on the front, KOVR reported.
On the back of the shirts, images of colored shell casings were arranged in the pattern of the American flag. The words “National Rifle Association” were printed below the flag.
“That’s what she is. That’s what she does,” said Charlene Craig, whose 15-year-old daughter was one of the students singled out for the shirt. “She was basically being attacked in class.”
Craig said that the teacher condemned firearms as he lectured her daughter and another student in front of their classmates and told them that “guns kill people.”
As her daughter was lectured, the other student was sent to the principal’s office for refusing to take off the shirt, Craig said.
“He basically yelled at her, telling her that she would be writing an essay if she disagreed with him,” Craig told KOVR. “I think he’s there to teach. I don’t think he’s there to discuss his personal beliefs.”
According to school officials, the teacher mistakenly believed that the shirt was a violation of the school’s dress code, The Washington Post reported.
“The school administration reviewed the t-shirt in question and determined that it did not violate school dress code policy,” Lodi Unified School District spokesperson Chelsea Vongehr said in a statement, according to KOVR.
“The student was promptly returned to class and the school administration contacted the family to apologize,” Vongehr told The Washington Post in an email.
The school district also said that school employees will receive a refresher course regarding school dress code policies to prevent similar incidents in the future.
On Tuesday, the NRA tweeted a picture of the teen’s shirt.
“Your tax dollars at work,” the post read. “Two #California teenagers were harassed by their anti-#gun history teacher last week. How would you handle the situation if this were your child’s school?”
Craig said her daughter’s shirt supports the pro-hunting and farming lifestyles in which she was raised, and that she believes the teen will continue to wear the shirt to school, KOVR reported.
“I don’t see that there’s a problem,” Craig said.