THS senior girls get message cover up T-shirts as requested
Several Tonganoxie High School senior girls donned matching T-shirts Monday during school.
But the tongue-in-cheek message on the shirt triggered the call for a group assembly.
Shannon Carlin, one of the seniors who wore the shirt, said the front of the shirt read: "Senior women 2008."
The back read, "It feels good to be on top."
Carlin said that she wasn't certain who started the drive for the T-shirts in the senior class, but the senior girls paid $8 apiece for the shirts.
According to Carlin, the shirts were supposed to signify "we're all seniors and just want to have fun."
Carlin said that school staff was not pleased with the shirts, and that THS principal Jamie Carlisle called a special assembly for the senior girls to discuss the situation.
Many of the students wearing the shirt turned them inside out or wore something over them, Carlin said.
"If you turned your shirt inside out, he would thank you for it," Carlin said. "I think turning them inside out wasn't too much to ask. I didn't think it was a big deal. The whole thing's not really all that big of a deal."
And, Carlin said the shirt wasn't intended to cause harm, but rather to have a humorous message.
"It wasn't to make anybody mad, to question authority or anything," she said. "It's just a shirt."
She also mentioned that the T-shirts became popular because others were purchasing them.
"I think just the fact that everyone was getting them and everyone wanted to join in," Carlin said.
The exact number of shirts worn at the school was unknown, although it was thought that 30 to 40 were worn.
Carlin said that some students approached Carlisle later in the day to apologize.
"A lot of girls felt really bad," Carlin said, noting Monday night that some seniors planned to bake cookies and brownies for Carlisle.
Carlin said she showed the shirt to her mother.
"And she just kind of laughed and rolled her eyes," Carlin said. "She knew it wasn't going to go very far in school."
Fellow senior Tracie Hileman was not in school Monday because of illness, but said Monday night that the shirt could be taken as "Top of the class."
"Large and in charge," Hileman said.
Tracie's mother, Noda, said Tuesday that she didn't have any knowledge of the T-shirts.
"Sounds like it was a good day to be sick," Noda said. "They're supposed to dress up for volleyball today, so they should be good."
Carlisle declined to comment about the situation, citing student privacy issues.