My name is Jaz, I am a fourteen year old girl, I am writing to tell you about my encounter with the deputy headmaster at school.
On own clothes days, pupils wear their own clothes, pay £1 and the proceeds go to a charity of the schools choice.
On this particular own clothes day I thought I would wear my ‘ I love (love heart) CRAP’ tee shirt with a plain skirt. Big mistake!
I was taken to one side by the deputy headmaster Mr — . He told me that my tee shirt was inappropriate. He said any self respecting person with a brain would read it as ‘I (love heart) faeces’ and that it was disgusting. He told me to cover it up or go home, I did neither.
I explained to him that ‘crap’ referred to junk, litter, trash, rubbish, etc and that I was sure most people would read it as that. I also told him that my parents were respectable people with brains otherwise they would have told me the tee shirt was unsuitable.
No other members of staff mentioned my tee shirt, so I’m assuming no one else had a problem with it.
Mum came to collect me from school that day and as I was leaving Mr — came running towards me, shouting about my tee shirt. Mum told him he must have an awfully large brain to hold so much ignorance. She said he should be more concerned with the young girls who were wearing next to nothing, flaunting their sexuality and finding out who was selling drugs, cigarettes and alcohol on school premises, during school time.
The next day mum received a letter from Mr —. It said that he was shocked by his encounter with her. Again he mentioned my tee shirt saying the word ‘crap’ referred to’ faeces or defecation’. Mum tore the letter up, put it in an envelope and posted it back to him.
On another occasion, I was wearing my giant skeleton necklace and Mr — told me to take it off. He said it was vulgar and that it looked like I was carrying the remains of a dead baby around my neck. I didn’t take it off.
I hope I haven’t bored you, but I wanted to write and tell you about Mr — and ask, ‘have you got any advice for me on how to deal with him next time he has a go at me?’
My parents work hard and I save my pocket money to enable me to wear your designs.
They have always encouraged me to be me and not to seek to be like everyone else.
Think your reply was intelligent & civil. Of course crap refers to shit – he’s right but the design is an ironic attack on the consumer society. ‘I (love heart) crap’ alludes also to ‘I (love heart) NY’,’I (love heart) London’: these cities are full of tourist consumer rubbish.
Sending you a ‘Climate Revolution’ tee shirt. Read my diary & the new Climate Revolution website.
From Vivienne (love heart)
Hope the new tee shirt doesn’t get you into trouble again. You’ll probably be branded a ‘terrorist’ or something I’ll put it in the post tomorrow. Good luck.
Climate Revolution website at www.climaterevolution.org.uk (It’s not online yet, but will be soon)
Vivienne’s diary is at http://www.activeresistance.co.uk/ar