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Most Sports Apparel Banned Under Oklahoma City Dress Code

A dress-code controversy sparked by a kindergartner has prompted the Oklahoma City public school system to rethink its policy, according to The Oklahoman.

Currently, the district's dress-code policy restricts students from wearing clothing with either the names or logos of any professional or collegiate athletic team besides Oklahoma colleges and universities. In other words, Oklahoma City Thunder gear can't be worn at school, but University of Oklahoma athletic apparel can.

Five-year-old Cooper Barton became well acquainted with the policy last week after he was asked to turn his University of Michigan T-shirt inside out at his elementary school, The Oklahoman reports. Cooper complied, going behind a tree to do it.

The district last updated the dress code in 2005 with the help of the Oklahoma City police department's gang task force, according to the paper. The police department specifically included the ban on sports apparel because of gangs potentially using it as a way to identify themselves.

Cooper's parents don't fault the district for having the policy, but they still weren't thrilled with the decision.

"They should really worry about academics, said Cooper's mother, Shannon Barton, to Oklahoma City's News 9. "It wasn't offensive. He's 5."

Cooper's father, Chris Barton, told the paper that it's unfair for the Oklahoma City school system to allow Oklahoma university-affiliated gear at schools while banning apparel from colleges and universities outside the state.

If the district decides to leave the policy intact, it could have a serious problem enforcing it next June. The Thunder lost to the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals, but enters the season as one of the few championship favorites.

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