Boy sent home from school for wearing Steelers jersey

Boy sent home from school for wearing Steelers jersey
Grendon Bailie shows off his Steelers jersey.
TACOMA, Wash. - A 13-year-old student at Tacoma's Truman Middle School just wanted to show his team spirit when he wore a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey to his school's Seahawks appreciation day on Friday.

But school administrators sent Grendon Bailie home, saying his choice of clothing was inappropriate - and that Seahawks shirts or colors were the only exception allowed outside the uniform school's normal strict dress code.

Now the seventh-grader says he feels it was unfair for the school to single him out for punishment, simply because he and his family are Steelers fans and not Seahawks fans.

"Not everyone is a Seahawks fan - and if they got to wear their team stuff then I should, too," Grendon said.

But the school district says Grendon and all other students were warned on Thursday that anyone who didn't want to wear Seahawks colors should wear their normal school uniform, which is limited to certain styles and colors of clothing.

In fact, Grendon admits that he specifically asked the school's vice principal the day before if he could wear his Steelers jersey, and was told he could not because it was Seahawks spirit day.

"This boy came in a different color, a different team, and he was asked, if he didn't want to participate in the Seahawks colors day, then he could wear his uniform," said Tacoma School District spokeswoman Stacy Flores.

Grendon's dad, Stoughton B. Bailie Sr., says his son and the whole family are die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fans, and his son felt he should be able to show his team spirit like the other students at his school.

"I didn't force him to do it. I said I'd stand behind him if he wanted to do it, and this morning I gave him the choice," Stoughton says. "I said, 'What do you want to wear?' and he said, 'I'm wearing my Steelers stuff."

Grendon's dad also says he sent his son to school with a note explaining the boy's decision so he wouldn't get in trouble, but school officials refused to even read it.

"He was immediately told that he had to leave and change his clothes or face an in school suspension for the day," Stoughton said.

Grendon's dad picked him at the school after officials refused to let him attend classes in his Steelers regalia.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are facing the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC playoffs this weekend, and Grendon says he has no plans to watch the Seahawks-Bears game.