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Baltimore elementary school: Wear purple for Ravens pep rally, or get sent to the library

Jan 20, 2012, 10:16 AM EDT

Washington Redskins v Baltimore Ravens Getty Images

Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore is having a Ravens-sponsored rally today, as the team gears up for its AFC Championship game with New England. But students there should not plan to attend if they don’t buy some Baltimore Ravens gear. Because anyone who tries to show up in regular school clothes will be banished to the library.

At least that was the edict included in a notice sent by some Roland Park teachers this week, reports the Baltimore Sun. The notice reads:

“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.”

Students not wearing purple will be forced to weave blankets in the school sweat shop all day for 12 cents per hour!

It’s all part of the Ravens’ Purple Friday Caravan Pep Rally, which will stop at a handful of area schools. But Melanie LeGrande, director of community relations for the Ravens, told the Sun that the team is not insisting on purple attire, and that they are “concerned” that certain students might be barred from the rally. “The Ravens are about inclusivity,” LeGrande said.

And I believe her. Proof of that is the continued employment of Joe Flacco.

Roland Park parent Mark Brody, a Steelers fan, is not amused.

“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 school is now saying that the teacher emails were “a miscommunication.” No students will be barred from the rally for not wearing purple. And the only ones sent to the library will be those who show up late.

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Purple Pride overzealous at Roland Park school, say some parents [Baltimore Sun]

  1. rogerbrad - Jan 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Communism at its best where your freedom is banished.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      You’re so Cold War.

  2. bobwsc - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    why get their hopes up anyway?

  3. spbadclam - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I am sure this is being overblown. Roland Park is a very wealthy area of northern Baltimore City. If this is what is the most worrisome aspect of their lives, they should be so lucky.

  4. goforthanddie - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I’d rather play paper football in the library than wear purple and go to a pep rally anyway.

  5. specialopscody - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    If I was a student at that school I’d opt out of attending a Ratbirds® rally even if the alternative was scrubbing toilets.

    Funniest part of this article, though, was the quote from the parent who said, “I shouldn’t have to send my kid to school to have them sit in the library.” Of course your kid is going to get so much more school value out of attending a pep rally than they would from being in a room full of books, or maybe even reading one of them.