A Mississippi sixth-grader whose brother is serving in Afghanistan was told by school officials to turn his T-shirt inside-out because of its anatomically correct depiction of the U.S. Marine Corps bulldog, the Marine Corps Times reported.
Jordan Griffith, 13, received the T-shirt as a gift from his older brother, Lance Cpl. Timothy Swann Jr., while he was on leave before deploying. The front of the shirt shows the dog's head and body and reads, "If you are not the lead dog," while the back shows a rear view of the animal and states, "The view never changes."
“Jordan just idolizes Timothy,” their mother, Sandy Griffith, told the Marine Corps Times. “Timothy gave him the shirt and told him, ‘Always remember you’re a leader, not a follower.’”
But that's apparently not the message officials at South Jones Elementary in Ellisville chose to focus on: According to the Times, they objected to the realistic rendering of the dog's genitals. Griffith was told to either turn his shirt inside-out or have his parents bring him a new one.
Incensed, Sandy Griffith chose to pull her son out of class rather than have him swap shirts.
"The bond [between the brothers] is very uncanny," she told Fox News. "If you want to talk about inappropriate and offensive, that was offensive to me."
Tommy Parker, the school's superintendent, insisted to the Times that despite the outrage, the decision had nothing to do with it being a Marine Corps shirt.
“We’re very pro-military,” he said. “We’re one of the most conservative places in the United States.”
Parker said some teachers simply objected to the shirt because “all the details are there” with regard to the dog’s anatomy and they didn't want to look at it all day or have younger students see it.