Pa. school to 5th-grader: No face paint over Osama

AP News
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Posted: May 03, 2011 12:37 PM
Pa. school to 5th-grader: No face paint over Osama

A Pennsylvania woman took her fifth-grade son out of school for the day after administrators decided his face paint marking the death of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was too disruptive for class.

Jennifer Tressler told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg she made the decision Monday after being told Connor had to remove the body art, which depicted a flag, the date of bin Laden's death and the letters U-S-A.

Central Dauphin School District spokeswoman Shannon Leib said the paint violated the student dress code.

"As part of their dress and grooming, they must adhere to a scholastic atmosphere, and the face paint was causing a distraction within the school," Leib said Tuesday.

Tressler removed Connor before the Middle Paxton Elementary School principal presented her with the option of having the boy wash his face, Leib said.

An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer said the district overreacted.

"There's a difference between discussion and debate, which schools should encourage, and a breakdown of discipline in the classroom," ACLU attorney Mary Catherine Roper told the newspaper.

Connor told The Patriot-News he did not plan to paint his face for school again.

"They didn't say anything about my shirt, so I'll stick to T-shirts," he said.