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