Little Boy Should Be Allowed to Wear 'Gang' Shirt to School (VIDEO)

Rant 33

peyton manning jersey

A 3rd grader from Greeley, Colorado was just told he's not allowed to wear his Denver Broncos jersey to school all because of Peyton Manning's number, 18. Konnor Vannatta couldn't wait to throw on his jersey to show his support for his sports hero before the Broncos game against the Steelers on Sunday, and understandably, he was pretty bummed when he was told he can't wear anything with the number 18 on it, because it's associated with gang activity.

The school district also bans any clothing with the numbers 13, 14, 31, 41, and 81. And while gang activity is definitely a scary and sad reality, is there really cause for concern when it comes to elementary-schoolers?

Because any time I think of a "gang," I automatically picture older kids or teenagers, not grade school kids. Maybe I'm naive because I live in the sticks and I've never heard of any sort of gang activity going on with kids that young out here, but it really seems like the school board is overreacting and blowing the ban out of proportion.

Konnor's mother was particularly bothered by the fact that he couldn't wear the jersey and summed things up perfectly by saying, "I’m pretty upset the schools have come down to this and I think they need to start paying attention to the education the children are getting rather than what they’re wearing."

And I couldn't agree more. These are just kids, for crying out loud, not violent criminals who are out to hurt each other. Unless the town of Greeley has had actual incidents of gang activity in their elementary schools, they should really think about lightening up a bit and letting these poor kids cheer for their favorite teams, regardless of what number is printed on the jersey.

You can hear more about the number ban in this video clip.


Do you think gangs exist in elementary schools? (And if they do, God help us.)


Image via Fox31 Denver

clothes, athletes, football


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nonmember avatar Gina

It's sad but where I am from there have been instances of gangs recruiting kids as young as elementary school age. Not that he is in a gang but policies like this have been created for a reason unfortunately.

Sierr... SierraLynn

It's a sad truth, but some gang activity actually does start in elementary school...

count... countrygirlkat

While I am still going back and forth on whether this is too extreme with the ban, the sad fact is that there are elementary school kids who are being preped and readied for gang activity already.  We are seeing a generation of gang members who are now older and having kids of their own so basically these kids are being born into the gang life and never stand a chance. 

Aunt_... Aunt_ning

I could see if it was a random 18 on a shirt, but its a Peyton Manning Jersey for Crying they expect that the only ones supporting Manning are Gang Members?

curio... curious1145

I agree with Aunt_ning. If the numbered shirt has specific meaning involving something unrelated to gang activity,why in the world would they ban it? These silly measures they put in place do not cut-down on or eliminate gang activity. All they do is ruin the fun of innocent children. The problem of gangs needs to be addressed. Banning certain numbers is not the answer. I guess no math problems are allowing using those banned numbers! What's next?

nonmember avatar gigimama

Goodness. My age is a gang symbol. I hope the police don't hear about it.

cecil... cecilmansmom

Do you think gangs exist in elementary schools? (And if they do, God help us.)


yes they do I have seen a sixth grader carry a gun wearing gang paraphernalia  to my own son's school. The age has nothing to do with it. some children see this in their neighborhood and become enticed by it. 

nonmember avatar zizzler

shirts will not make or break a gang. Ban jerseys? They'll use baseball hats instead. Ban hats? It'll be basketball shoes. I went to a tiny rural high school of 100% white christian kids, all who grew up together. There are NO gangs where I live. None. And yet they banned us from wearing university logo shirts because "gangs" in the city over an hour away were wearing them (unlikely!). So because of this inane paranoia, seniors weren't able to wear the shirt of the college they got into, or where their older siblings attended. I graduated 10 years ago and this stupidity still annoys me!

dusky... dusky_rose

Yeah, I think that that is pretty ridiculous. At least it would be in our neighborhood. I don't know what kind of city or town this boy is growing up in.

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