Are High School Students' WTF T-shirts in Bad Taste?


WWhen I think of a high school’s standard issue t-shirts, I think of a school’s logo, their mascot, or some athletic or scholastic motto. I do not think of a t-shirt boldly stating “WTF.” But one school, the North Pointe Prep High School in Phoenix, Arizona, used that as the main focus of their school-backed t-shirts. Underneath the “WTF” it says, “We’re the Falcons.”

The principal of the charter school had the students speak to the press about the t-shirts themselves. They defended them, saying,  “Just because it sounds like something, doesn’t mean that’s what it is.” Another added that people “are putting those thoughts into it. It clearly says ‘We Are The Falcons.'”

A senior told ABC News, “We don’t do this for other people; we do this for our school to show that we’re united. This is not to spark controversy.” But that appears to be just what they do; last year’s t-shirts said, “Falcon Awesome,” which was also questioned.

The school, which became a national news story after their t-shirts went viral, said on their website: “After a week of watching media personalities from around the country discuss them, their motives, and their lack of appropriateness, North Pointe Falcon Nation spoke out Friday morning before school with three words – not three letters, “DEAL WITH IT!”

I understand the whole “free speech” thing and, as the school’s website stated, wanting to be “witty,” but is it really necessary? I think for a college it would be more acceptable, but for a high school, it just doesn’t seem age-appropriate. Personally, I wouldn’t want to see my 14-year-old wearing a school t-shirt that said WTF on it. Also, a school should be in the business of educating, not being edgy. “Unless you’re a Falcon, you just don’t understand,” said  Senior Ashleigh LaMountain. “We care what the people we walk by between classes think about us, not the rest of the country.”

The students have been very vocal about their support, but I can’t help but wonder what the parents think. Do they share their kids’ stance on the shirts? Or are there some that are calling the principal’s office and asking “WTF?”

Would you support your teen’s school if they had t-shirts that said WTF, or would you prefer something more “kid-friendly?”

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