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Student a Casualty of the Cola Wars

March 26, 1998|Associated Press

Need further proof that bitter rivals Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola don't mix? An Evans, Ga. high school senior faced a one-day suspension Wednesday after wearing a Pepsi shirt to a Coke Day assembly. Mike Cameron, 19, says he never intended to show disrespect for Coke officials who had gathered at Greenbrier High School for an event designed to help the school win a contest run by the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. School Principal Gloria Hamilton acknowledged the suspension seemed out of line: "I know it sounds bad--"Child suspended for wearing Pepsi shirt on Coke Day." Cameron said he wore the Pepsi logo as a joke: "That's my personality. I don't like to follow the trend of everyone else." Hamilton said Cameron also ruined a school picture, a violation that has drawn six-day suspensions in the past. The Coke contest offers a $500 award to the school that devises the best method of distributing promotional discount cards to students. Coke executives traveled from their Atlanta headquarters 100 miles away to serve as speakers. Cameron said he wasn't asked to remove the offensive shirt and that he changed into the Coke shirt later in the day.

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