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Michigan School Reverses Ban on T-Shirts Honoring Classmate Who Died of Cancer

12-year old Caitlyn Jackson lost her battle with cancer over the weekend. As if that isn’t tragic enough, the little girl’s school decided to add insult to the pain when it banned wearing t-shirts that memorialized their classmate.

After Caitlyn’s tragic passing, Lakeview Middle School counselors met, then somehow came up with decision to not allow Caitlyn’s schoolmates to wear orange t-shirts (orange, for leukemia awareness) with “Caitlyn” spelled out across the front. To make it worse, they didn’t tell any parents or kids that they came to this decision. So upon arriving at school on Monday, students wearing the shirts were told to either cover up Caitlyn’s name or turn their shirts inside-out. Students were upset, parents were furious, and they let school administrators know how they felt.

After hearing the complaints, talking with Caitlyn’s family, and realizing what a stupid decision it was to ban the shirts and disrespect a 12-year old girl, her classmates and Caitlyn’s family, the decision was reversed. It was announced in the form of a post on the Lakeview School District’s Facebook page, stating:

During this time of grief, we sincerely regret that our actions caused additional stress for Caitlyn’s family and friends. Lakeview students, families and staff have supported Caitlyn and her family throughout her battle. Today we heard from students and families the need to allow students to continue showing their support of Caitlyn under these special circumstances by wearing shirts bearing her name.

The fact that the memorial t-shirts were banned in the first place is ridiculous. I can’t help but wonder how rational-thinking people fail to see that stopping children from honoring, supporting and showing love for a fellow student like this is a bad thing. But hopefully this is a learning experience for the school district, and others can learn from this bad decision in the future. The students and their parents should feel a sense of pride for speaking out and helping correct this situation.

Thoughts and prayers for Caitlyn, her family and friends. In all the uproar, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that cancer does – and always will – suck.

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