Administrators at an elementary school in Orlando, Florida, ordered an 11-year-old boy to remove his face mask promoting the restaurant Hooters.
The incident happened earlier this week at Sunset Park Elementary, where a principle deemed fifth grader Ian Golba’s mask “inappropriate.”
He was told to ditch the mask “Because it expresses a woman’s body,” Golba told Fox 35 Orlando, explaining he’d been wearing it with no problems since the start of school in August.
A 5th grader says he was told to take off his Hooters mask again today at school, because it’s offensive. His father says there’s nothing offensive about a restaurant.#Fox35 @fox35orlando pic.twitter.com/iKPXtJzeFQ
— Valerie Boey FOX 35 (@vboey) September 16, 2020
After the boy’s father, Steve, caught wind of the matter, he phoned the principle to voice his disapproval.
“[Ian’s] not thought that there is anything wrong with this mask, nor does he think there’s anything wrong with the restaurant,” Steve told Fox 35.
“[The principle] told me it was deemed offensive. I told him we go there as a family. We eat their wings, we watch sports. I said we have chocolate cake! We go there all the time it is not an offensive mask,” Steve said, defending his son against the principle’s accusations.
Ian described being approached by a counselor and asked to remove the mask during gym class.
“I believe it was a counselor that came and she told me to take it off and that it was inappropriate, so I needed to take it off. I asked her if I was allowed to wear it inside out and she said yes I could wear it inside out, so I wore it like that the rest of gym,” Ian said.
Ian’s father said the boy was under the impression administrators would punish him over the mask, and asked why women’s bodies are being deemed offensive.
“He was afraid he was going to get reprimanded, in trouble and perhaps suspended from school. I’ve never viewed it as anything but a restaurant. Do we feel women’s bodies are offensive? I don’t know. I don’t. The Principal told me that it was inappropriate. I said I don’t understand why it’s inappropriate. There’s nothing wrong with that mask.”
The father says he definitely plans to take Ian back to Hooters because, “We do like the chicken wings. They have the best chicken wings.”
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