If October was a big month for pink, November has been a lot rougher on the color in high school sports. First, a placekicker got the boot from his team because he insisted on wearing pink cleats, and now a school in suburban Boston has banned all pink clothing from a traditional pre-Thanksgiving game prep rally.
As reported by MyFoxBoston.com, Whitman Hanson Regional High School Principal Jeffrey Szymaniak upended the school's tradition of having all freshmen wear pink by banning the color on the day of a pep rally in an effort to minimize teasing. The annual pre-Thanksgiving Whitman Hanson pep rally traditionally has seniors wear black, juniors red, sophomores white and freshmen pink, all in an effort to increase class seniority.
Szymaniak, who is in his first year at Whitman Hanson, said the decision to outlaw the pink class code was just one of a handful of measures taken to accommodate anti-bullying legislation passed in Massachusetts after the suicide of Phoebe Prince last winter.
While that anti-bullying concern is certainly a valid one, some students argued that banning pink was being a bit too protective of the school's freshmen.
"I feel that the freshmen, even though it is pink, it is a 'girl color', it's the freshman color," Whitman-Hanson senior Ian McClinton told MyFoxBoston.com "They've always worn that for as long as I can remember. You ask teachers here and they say as long as they've been working here, as long as they can remember, they've had pink as that color."
For his part, Szymaniak told MyFoxBoston that no one had come forward to launch an official bullying complaint, but insisted that the decision to ban pink was a preemptive measure.
"Officially, no one has come to me this year," Szymaniak said. "But I'm trying to be proactive with that. If one student feels inappropriate in this area, or one student doesn't feel safe, [Szymaniak thinks] that we've created an environment where all kids feel comfortable and safe [and can avoid bullying complaints]."
While students have continued to lobby for an unenforced option to wear pink, Szymaniak reportedly stood firm on his plan to ban the color during the day of the prep rally as a safety measure.