Dear Oklahoma… “Go Michigan!”

So school is starting, which means that summer is over.  Cue the sigh of relief from all the seasoned stay-at-homers out there.  And another sigh from the rest of the parental watch pool.  Routine is back.  Learning is back.  Thank God for our schools and the institutions of learning where we send our kids and trust in their teachers and administrators to guide them and fill them with knowledge… Umm, except in Oklahoma?  Ok, well not really, but check this article out!  —  “Oklahoma youngster forced to turn his Michigan shirt inside out at school”  If you want the short version, the title says it all.  A five year old was told that he couldn’t have his college shirt of choice on because well, it’s a state law that he only wear Oklahoma shirts at school.  Pardon my hill-billy prejudice, but can we get any more Okie-ish than that?!!  Can’t you just see the spit flying through the front teeth and past the teachers pushed-out belly where the Sooner belt buckle is buried underneath the girth… the loogey splatting onto the ground next to the bewildered Kindergartner who is still mesmerized by the sheer volume of saliva that has puddled at his feet before he hears in a disturbingly proud voice the chastising words of his teacher… “We don’t take kindly to that there kind of shirt young man.  You’ll do well to not wear that kind of blaspheme in these here halls of institutional learning.”  Excuse me while I choke on my disbelief.

With all the problems in education that we have as a nation, it seems that this one is so laughable that it’s disgusting.  My kids attend public school, and the policy there is quite the opposite in letter and spirit.  Mind you we live in California where we have our own educational challenges.  But when it comes to touting college, kids are encouraged to wear any shirt that says “I’m proud of my school, and one day when it comes time to go to college, I’ll be ready if I so choose to go.”  Every classroom has a college to root for, whether it’s the Tritons of UC San Diego, the Trojans of USC, or even the Hurricanes of Miami.  When kids don there school shirts of choice they are saying, “One day, I’ll be college bound.”

Insert huge sigh here… “Are you kidding me!”  REALLY?!  They are telling a Kindergartner that he can’t wear a college t-shirt because it is not consistent with state patriotism?  Tell you what… let’s just put on some confederate grey, shall we?

Perhaps I’m overstating.  As my wife notes, I tend to do that.  The article mentioned above does note that the policy in place is to safeguard against gang related activity.  Oh I feel so much better.  Oklahoma gangs are Ok for Okies but otherwise… The truth is, I have just one thing to say to Oklahoma… and that’s “Go Michigan!” or Pepperdine, or BYU, or Weslayan, or Dartmouth, or Santa Cruz.  Pick one, and wear it where you will, proudly.  Because whether you have a child who some day may be headed to college or you simply like cheering for your team during the college football season, let’s not be so backwards as to ask our kids to turn themselves inside out so that we can continue our ignorance… isn’t that right Oklahoma?  (says I as I spit into a spitoon)