Monday, May 31, 2004
Students Censured For Wearing Pink
CBS 2 Chicago: "Six middle school boys who were banned from a class portrait for refusing to cover up their pink T-shirts have gained the support of fashion guru and 'American Idol' host Ryan Seacrest.

Ensign Middle School principal Edward Wong pulled the boys from their eighth grade class portrait last Thursday because he feared the color could be associated with gang-affiliated 'dance crews,' which hold all-night dance contests and raves.

The boys denied being crew members and said they wore the shirts, which students described as 'Easter pink,' to stand out in the photo.

More than 400 of the 1,000 seventh- and eighth-graders at the upscale school wore pink to class the following day in support of the teens. Many said they would wear pink again Friday.

'It's dumb,' said Luis Solis, 13, one of the boys who was barred from the photo. 'How come we can't wear pink? We didn't do nothing.'

Seacrest, who also hosts 'On Air with Ryan Seacrest' and 'American Top 40,' said Tuesday he got involved because a student was quoted in a local newspaper saying pink was popular among teens because Seacrest often wore it.

....But Jane Garland, spokeswoman for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, said the six students were also wearing black shoes, pink-and-black armbands and pink socks.

"The color pink itself is not a problem with us. We like the color pink," she said. "But pink and black together ... are known to be party crew colors. It's how they are worn."

Garland said crews can be precursors to gangs. Students who wear certain color combinations are carefully watched by administrators, she said."

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