PORTLAND, Ore., Oct 12 (Reuters) - An Oregon school district will review its dress code after a teenage student was sent home for wearing a T-shirt displaying a rifle in tribute to fallen soldiers, school officials said on Monday.
Eighth-grader Alan Holmes was sent home from Dexter McCarty Middle School last week after refusing to change the shirt, which depicts the gun alongside boots, a helmet, the U.S. flag and the slogan: "Standing for those who stood for us."
The school district's dress code prohibits clothing bearing images of weaponry.
The school in Portland's suburb of Gresham denied initial reports that Holmes was suspended for wearing the shirt, and it said he returned to class the next day. The incident followed a mass shooting at a southern Oregon community college that killed 10 people, including the gunman.
"The administration did talk with the student about the appropriateness of the image on his shirt," Athena Vandals, the school district's communications director, said in a statement.
"The parent of the student agreed to allow the student to go home after the student refused other options such as changing into a different T-shirt," Vandals said.
Holmes told local broadcaster KATU he wanted to honor fallen servicemen because his brother served with the Marines in Iraq.
"I was just upset. I was heartbroken," Holmes told KATU of the shirt incident. "My brother, he means everything for me. Just being able to help and give back to the people who fought and died for us it just makes me feel good."
Vandals said the school is aware the shirt was meant to honor fallen veterans.
"The message of the T-shirt, showing support for our country's military, and their many sacrifices, is a positive one that we fully support," she said.
"What called into question the appropriateness of the T-shirt in a middle school setting was the rifle included in the image."
Vandals said the district is now reviewing its dress code.
"In light of this situation, we will take a closer look at our policy," she said, adding that it was an opportunity to engage the community in a conversation about school safety and "age appropriate" ways to show support for veterans.