Shandon schools ban red and blue clothing, parents outraged

September 23, 2023


A plan by the Shandon Joint Unified School District to curtail alleged gang violence  through the banning of red and blue colors at the school has led multiple parents to pull their children out of the district.

Three years ago, the district adopted a school dress code banning the wearing of solid blue and red garments, which are considered gang colors. At the time, however, the policy was not enforced.

On Halloween 2022, a 19-year-old, whose family had gang connections, shot a 15-year-old during an off-campus altercation.

Since then, school staff has “dress coded” students for wearing blue bows in their hair, a Dodgers’ jersey, a red Christmas sweater, tennis shoes with a red logo, blue fingernail polish and dyed red hair.

Parents argue that responses to the color ban are subjective and not equally enforced.

“They said sports apparel with logos was fine, but they made my daughter take off her jersey” said a parent who does not want to be identified to protect her child from harassment. “I pulled my daughter out of the school.”

While the dress code requires students not wear solid blue or red clothes, Superintendent Kristina Benson agreed that students wearing non-solid blue or red articles of clothing have been dress coded.

“It is the same as not permitting a spiked collar,” Benson said. “It is a safety issue.”

Benson said there was an incident at the school that prompted the crackdown, though she would not say if the altercation was linked to a student wearing gang colors.

California Education Code 32282 permits schools to adopt a dress code that prohibits “gang related apparel,” which is required to be defined.

“The definition shall be limited to apparel that, if worn or displayed on a school campus, reasonably could be determined to threaten the health and safety of the school environment,” according to the Education Code.

During the past year, five of the 20 children who were in the sixth grade at Shandon Elementary School have left: one transferred to Trinity Lutheran School, one to Almond Acres Charter Academy, one to a school in Atascadero, and two are now homeschooled.

Earlier this month, San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools James Brescia informed Benson that because of declining enrollment, the already financially strapped district will have even less revenue during the upcoming school year.

While district board trustee Jennifer Moe argued against implementing the color ban, she lost in a 4-1 vote. She later voted yes when it related only to solid blue or red articles of clothing.

“As a parent, I think we should be focused more on our children’s education than the colors of their clothes,” Moe said. “If we had more programs for our youth, we would have fewer problems.”

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This sounds political to me. Although I never thought of Republicans and Democratic as gangs, I guess it fits. There appears to be a much larger issue here. Regulating clothing does nothing to effect gang activity. As another person pointed out, it’s time to rethink the mascot “Outlaws” and the school colors.

If the photo is correct, maybe school officlas should first consider changing the school’s mascot, something other than Home of the “Outlaws”…….

Let the little know nothings wear red and blue that way we will know who is a gang banger and who is not….

If there is that much gang problems in Shandon school which doesn’t have that many students I would say there is a bigger problem with who is living in the town raising these kids. Shandon is out away from the law and not much for kids to do so the gangs thrive

If this is a real problem, it’s time to bring back school uniforms.

Agreed. But the liberals will claim that their right to dress like Fetterman are being violated.

So you don’t have the right to dress as you want? Poor thing, at least Fetterman is not posting revenge porn in the peoples house.

“Spiked collar”? Is that a thing? Maybe 1980’s punk, and pre-gang, and those kids did not present a problem, whatever. And why ban spiked collars as long as they are not red or blue? Does the blue ban include blue jeans?

As a retired Correctional Officer I find the colors they decided to ban a little strange. Red and blue traditionally symbolize the Crips and the Bloods, but they declared a truce many years ago so no gang war there. Blue is commonly used by MS13 snd other Hispanic gangs, along with black and occasionally green. But red? I know of no other gang besides Bloods that fly red, so why ban it?

Nortenos fly red. Surenos fly blue. Visit Atascadero when school lets out, any day of the week, and you’ll see plenty of little wannabe Nortenos cliqued up with their red accessories.

Apparently Shandon school officials know something that is not being discussed. Let’s discuss it.

This is ridiculous. Nothing like letting the hooligans win.