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School Expels Parents for Selling Banned Logo Shirts

September 27, 1997

Campus police ejected Birmingham High School booster parents who were attempting to sell "Save the Braves" T-shirts Friday evening on the campus in opposition to a Board of Education policy banning Indian mascots.

Calling the school policy a case of "government completely out of control," parent Frank Arrigo said, "This is stupid."

Arrigo and another parent, Jack McGrath, were spearheading the effort to sell the shirts and "save the Braves." They intended to sell the shirts at the "Dads Club" booth on campus.

But earlier Friday, Los Angeles Unified School District officials notified the group that the district has a right to regulate sales on school property. According to officials, "In this particular instance, allowing the sale of merchandise with a message that directly refutes a policy legally established by the Board of Education legally cannot be permitted."

After a brief encounter with officers, the activists selling the shirts were forced off campus while the Friday night football game was being played.

The board, at the urging of American Indian activists, voted Sept. 8 to eliminate the name and image of American Indian-themed mascots from all of its campuses.

The decision to expel the mascot will cost Birmingham $240,000 to paint over the Brave logo on campus and to purchase new gym clothes and band uniforms without the Brave logo, Principal Gerald Kleinman said.

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