Allison Needles covers city and education news for The News Tribune in Tacoma. She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest.
WA students not fired for wearing ‘Republican’ clothing
A viral post circulating on Facebook this week from a parent at Bethel High School who claims her children were taken out of class because their clothes were “too Republican” is not true, according to the Bethel School District.
The Facebook post has racked up over 30,000 reactions and 106,000 shares.
The post was posted by Angela Bailey on Tuesday and said her kids wore Carhartt hoodies, bootcut jeans and Romeo boots.
“Bethel High School staff told the children their clothes were ‘too Republican’, ‘too country’, ‘white supremacist’ and ‘racist’. I don’t see a problem with these clothes, ”Bailey wrote.
Bethel School District officials have confirmed that Bailey is a parent of Bethel High students, but that there is “no validity” to the Facebook post. The district serves approximately 20,000 students in southeast Pierce County.
“The post is not an accurate representation of everything that happened at Bethel High School. Students have always been allowed to wear sweatshirts, Carhartts, jeans and boots. There is nothing in the Bethel High School dress code that prevents that, ”district spokesman Doug Boyles said in an email to the News Tribune Thursday.
“These students were not asked to leave the school and at no time were they removed from the classroom,” Boyles added. “The inflammatory conversation and comments between the teacher and the students reflected in the Facebook post did not take place.”
Bailey could not be reached for further comment Thursday afternoon.
Some people who commented on the post said they were outraged while others doubted Bailey’s claim actually happened.
District officials said they responded individually to calls and emails from concerned parents and the public.
The message also caused confusion with other Bethel schools across the country. The local Bethel School District in Tipp City, Ohio had to clarify that this was not the Bethel High School referenced in the post.
There is a negative article on ‘Bethel High School’ circulating on social media regarding the withdrawal of students due to specific clothing and political affiliation. THE SCHOOL IN STATION IS IN WASHINGTON. THIS IS NOT Bethel High School in Tipp City OH, ”the district tweeted Wednesday.