The elementary school daughters of a soldier paralyzed in Afghanistan were punished for wearing t-shirts that bore the logo of an organization that provides homes for severely wounded veterans, according to their mother. However, the Texas school district said it has absolutely nothing to do with the logo — and everything to do with the dress code.
The girls, in first grade and fourth grade at Masters Elementary School, were wearing t-shirts provided by “Homes For Our Troops.” Their mother, Josie Perez-Gorda, said they had recently received word that the organization might be offering the family assistance in building a home that would be safe for her husband.
Army Spc. Justin Perez-Gorda was injured by a road-side bomb in Afghanistan, she told San Antonio television station KENS.
“These guys are fighting for our country and they should be able to wear something that honors their parents, especially if they are wounded,” Perez-Gorda told the television station.
But the Judson Independent School District disagrees. They said the girls were punished because they violated the dress code — not because of the message on the shirt.
“We have a standardized dress code,” Judson ISD spokesperson Aubrey Chancellor told Fox News. “Had the shirt had a collar, it would have been totally fine.”
Chancellor stressed that the school district is not anti-American or anti-military — and said the public has only heard one portion of the story.
“It’s unfortunate it’s become what is on the shirt,” she said. “It was never about what was on the shirt. It was the type of shirt.”
Chancellor said the children had previously violated the dress code multiple times. So when the girls showed up with the t-shirts, the principal called Perez-Gorda explained the problem.
“The principal bought two shirts for the kids — so they could wear them,” she said. But the mother declined. Chancellor said she took her children home and called the media.
“Clearly we are sympathetic to that family,” she said. “Our hearts go out to all military families.”
Perez-Gorda told the television station the girls were not intentionally violating the dress code. They simply wore the t-shirts to show support for their father.
A spokesperson for Homes For Our Troops could not be reached for comment.