The Baltimore Ravens have a "Purple Fridays" caravan that motors around the city hosting pep rallies for their precious purple Ravens. They've done it all year and it continues into the playoffs.
One stop Friday was at Roland Park Elementary where the kids were happy to hang out with Poe and Rise & Conquer, partially because they love the Ravens and partially because they weren't locked in the library.
In advance of the pep rally, a teacher wrote an email to parents indicating that any kid who didn't wear Ravens gear wouldn't be allowed to attend the pep rally but would be stuck in the library instead. From the Baltimore Sun:
"Students must wear purple or Ravens attire to attend, as there will be many TV cameras there," one teacher wrote to parents in an email obtained by The Baltimore Sun. "Not wearing purple or Ravens attire means making a choice not to attend."
Another teacher emailed that "students must wear purple in order to attend. If your child does not wear purple or you do not wish them to attend, I believe staff will supervise the students in the library."
That seems like a little much. I'm all for Ravens spirit, but these are little kids. Is there also a policy mandating that children of Steelers fans be chained to a pipe in the boiler room and learn to write with charcoal briquettes?
[Related: Nosy neighbor rats out Ravens QB Joe Flacco]
Fortunately, one parent's objections helped the school see their slight misstep in judgment here. Mark Brody, a parent raising little Steelers fans in Baltimore, wrote to the mayor and started a Facebook group where other parents agreed with him.
"I like the town getting behind the team. I like Purple Friday," Brody said. "But this is about standing up for their right to just be themselves, to not have to pretend that you're a Ravens fan to go to an event during the school day. I shouldn't have to send my kid to school to have them sit in the library."
The Ravens organization heard about it, too, and expressed its desire for the event to be inclusive of children wearing all colors.
In the end, the school decided that was the way to go, and it let everyone attend. In the photo above (on the Ravens website, dated Jan. 20), you can see a child at a school pep rally in the front row wearing a Packers jersey. Hooray for a triumph of common sense.
Gracias, Larry Brown Sports.
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