- Woman's post about 'Back the Blue' sign in Jackson coffee shop prompts firing from nearby bar (8/15/17)11
- Scott City man dies in motorcycle crash near Millersville (8/13/17)
- Sands Pancake House moving to Morgan Oak location (8/11/17)1
- Stoogefest headliner cancels, cites NAACP travel advisory in Missouri (8/15/17)2
- Cape movie theater to feature recliners, new food and drink options (8/11/17)3
- Teen convicted of shooting area woman in 2015 (8/13/17)
- Man accused of making terror threats against dental office (8/13/17)
- Councilman: Scott City mayor, city administrator resigned (8/15/17)4
- Woman dies in house fire in Cape Girardeau County (8/16/17)
- How to save a life: Lifeguards resuscitated young girl at Cape Splash (8/17/17)2
School to reverse ban on toy soldier hat
COVENTRY, R.I. -- The superintendent of a Rhode Island school district that banned a second-grader's homemade hat because it displayed toy soldiers with tiny guns said Saturday he will work to change the policy to allow such apparel.
Coventry schools superintendent Ken Di Pietro said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that the no-weapons policy shouldn't limit student expression, especially when students are depicting "tools of a profession or service," such as the military or police.
"The event exposed how a policy meant to ensure safe environments for students can become restrictive and can present an image counter to the work of our schools to promote patriotism and democracy," Di Pietro said.
David Morales, 8, a student at Tiogue School, made the hat after choosing a patriotic theme for a school project last week. He glued plastic Army figures to a camouflage baseball cap. But school officials banned the hat, saying the guns carried by the Army figures violated school policy.
The decision prompted criticism of the school and support for Morales. On Friday, the boy received a medal from Lt. Gen. Reginald Centracchio, the retired head of the Rhode Island National Guard. Centracchio said Morales should be thanked for recognizing veterans and soldiers.
Di Pietro said Centracchio met with school officials and asked them to change the policy, and Di Pietro agreed to work with the school committee on a revision. Di Pietro said the incident obscured the district's strong support for the military.
He noted that Coventry schools sponsor one of only two Air Force Junior ROTC programs in the state.
"Coventry Public Schools has a long history of support for the military and for instilling patriotism in students," he said.