Colton Heberling is a junior at Cudahy High School in Wisconsin. In the past he has worn shirts to school that promoted the 2nd Amendment, Winchester and Remington Firearms without any consequences. Earlier this month, he wore a black shirt with two Smith & Wesson revolvers and the word ‘respect’ and this time he ended up suspended.
Colton’s dad, Tiger Heberling is a gunsmith. He gets promotional materials such as t-shirts from various gun companies and both he and his son wear them proudly. But when school administrator Phil Martell saw Colton’s S&W shirt, he told the student that the shirt was inappropriate because it dealt with drugs, pornography and alcohol. Colton was told to turn the shirt inside out or go home and change, but he did neither.
The first thing Colton did was phone his dad, who immediately left work and drove to the school. Arriving at the school, Tiger tried to explain to Principal Christopher Haeger that there is nothing offensive about the shirt and that it does not violate the school’s dress code. Haeger repeated the edict that Colton had to turn the shirt inside out or take if off and wear something else, but Tiger told him that wasn’t going to happen.
In the rather heated discussion that followed, Haeger referred to the shirt as a weapon and Tiger told him that it wasn’t a weapon, it’s just a shirt. The angered father then went to the school’s dress code that forbids hoods, midriff tops, spaghetti straps, halter tops, jackets, low-riding pants, pajamas and any clothing that has an obscene, profane or pornographic image, or anything that represents a clear and present danger and illegal behavior. It also forbids wearing anything that has a disparaging or demeaning message.
Colton’s shirt was none of those and his dad kept arguing that point. Eventually, Haeger told Tiger that the conversation was over. That’s when a girl wearing a midriff top walked by and Tiger pointed her out and said that definitely did violate the school’s dress code. The only response he got from Haeger was his repeating that the conversation was over.
Tiger ended up taking his son home for the rest of the day and now Colton has a half day suspension on his school record. Colton said that he’s not sure if he’ll wear any gun related shirts to school anymore because he feels that teacher and administrators will be ‘gunning’ for him. Tiger Colton said that if this happens to his son again that he will seek legal help to see what can be done to protect his son’s rights.
What happened to Colton Heberling is happening to students all across the country. School officials are suspending students for being conservative and patriotic. EAGNews gave a short list of similar occurrences including one student who was arrested for wearing a t-shirt promoting a well-known legal organization that promotes the 2nd Amendment and gun rights. A couple of years ago, a student was sent home for wearing a shirt with an American flag on it because it was May 5, Mexican Independence Day known as Cinco de Mayo. The student was told that his American flag shirt could be offensive to the Hispanic students at the school. During the 2012 campaign, one girl was told to remove her Romney-Ryan shirt and when she refused, the teacher verbally abused the girl in front of the rest of the class. The teacher happened to be a Democrat.
Cases of school bullying by administrators and faculty is a growing problem. Too many times they are allowed to get away with violating students’ 1st Amendment rights. If that happens to your kid(s) or grandkid(s), don’t blindly submit to the tyranny of the school officials. Seek legal advice and if need be, fight for your rights. Don’t let the liberal public schools trample on your kid(s) constitutional rights.