PICKERINGTON, Ohio –
Students at one central Ohio high school say they are being banned from showing their school spirit.
The student section at Pickerington High School Central refers to itself as the “Loud Pack.” The group stands and cheers together and wears shirts bearing the group’s name.
On Monday, the principal at the school notified students and parents that they could no longer wear their “Loud Pack” shirts.
“We stand together, we cheer on the football team, we start chants together,” says senior Charter Christley.
Christley is one of the leaders of the school’s student section, and among those in charge of coming up with a name for the group.
Jake Flynn is another section leader who helped design the shirt.
“We asked the principal if we could use the design and the name – it was approved. So we ordered the shirts, distributed them, and that was that,” says Flynn.
But officials say they have since discovered that Loud Pack can be a marijuana reference.
LINKS: Marijuana Dictionary
Operation Street Smart Drug Education
Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott has come across the term on the job, and he says it is street slang for the drug.
“Loud is just marijuana, but loud pack for some reason, they attribute that to a very strong, overpowering smell that can take over a room – that’s Loud Pack,” said Scott.
The students claim they had no idea about the meaning.
“It was a complete shock to us, because we had no intention of it meaning anything of that sort,” said Flynn.
“We had no clue what that meant. We were just trying to be a loud group of students, and its being taken the wrong way,” added Christley.
The students say they want district leaders to reconsider.
Friday is the school’s homecoming, and the group says shirt or no shirt, they’ll be cheering their undefeated team from the stands.
Statement sent from the school:
Dear Tiger Families:
Many students have student section t-shirts this year that are titled “Loud Pack” and some have past shirts that have “Purple Haze” on them. When these t-shirts were approved, it was not known that both of these phrases were referencing marijuana. Since it has been brought to our attention, we are no longer allowing these shirts to be worn at school or at Pickerington High School Central events. This is in accordance with our code of conduct under dress code ( Board Policy JFCA) that does not allow any clothing promoting drug use or inappropriate slogans. If a student is wearing either of these shirts to school, they will be asked to change their shirt or will be issued a consequence. If a student attends an event wearing either shirt, then he/she will be asked to change or will be asked to leave the event.
We would really appreciate your cooperation and understanding in helping to promote Pickerington in a positive manner.
Pickerington High School Central
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