GRESHAM, Ore. – Dexter McCarty Middle School student Alan Holmes understands that his freedom is intricately tied to those who fought and died defending the United States of America.
His older brother joined the U.S. Marines when he was 19 years old and served a tour in Iraq, Fox 12 reports.
But school officials apparently don’t share Holmes understanding or patriotic spirit, and recently forced the eighth-grader to change his shirt that depicted a traditional soldier memorial or face in-school suspension.
Holmes choose the latter.
“The principal, I asked him, is this considered a suspension? He said yes I’ll see you tomorrow and I left,” Holmes told KATU.
“I was just upset. I was heartbroken,” he added. “My brother, he means everything to me. Just being able to help and give back to the people who fought and died for us it just makes me feel good.”
The school dress code states that students cannot wear anything that promotes alcohol, drugs, tobacco or violence. Holmes’ shirt depicted a military rifle barrel first into the ground, with a helmet on top and boots on the bottom. It reads: “Standing for those who stood for us.”