The few area students who have dared to wear one of the controversial Bart

Simpson T-shirts to school have had their fashion statement squelched more

quickly than they can say "The Simpsons."

They've been forced to wear it inside-out - or arrange for a change of


Area school administrators say they can ban the shirts because they

"inappropriate" messages on clothing.

The shirts feature a likeness of the 10-year-old television cartoon

character saying, "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?" or "Underachiever:

And Proud of It, Man."

After meeting with a few students who were sent to his office for wearing

the shirts at Memorial Junior High School in Lansing, Principal James Shrader

went a step further.

"The next day, I covered it with the entire student body on the PA (public

address system)," he said.

Since then, no other students have been sent to his office for wearing one

of the controversial shirts.

Barbara Hall, a spokesman for Brookwood Junior High School in Glenwood, said

a few students tried to wear the shirts to class, but were forced to call their

parents and have them bring a change of clothes.

"The school policy is that no inappropriate sayings are allowed," said Gwen

Devries, an assistant principal at Rickover Junior High School in Sauk Village.

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"We talked to the children and told them that they had to wear them

inside-out," she said.

The policy is the same for high school students.

Dean's office spokesmen at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing,

Thornwood High School in South Holland and Bloom Trail High School in Chicago

Heights all said when a message on clothing crosses the lines of obscenity and

vulgarity, or when there is the possibility it could be offensive, it is banned.

Many area schools said the issue has not come up yet because no students

have been seen wearing the Bart Simpson T-shirts.

School District 154 1/2 Superintendent Al Vega said no students at Burnham

School have worn the shirts to school.

"Hopefully, it's because the parents feel the same way I do," he said. "Why

would parents allow kids to wear those to school? I, as a parent, am not going

to let my kid wear that to school."

Stan Rachowicz, a counselor at McKinley Junior High School in South Holland,

also said the shirts do not seem to be a problem.

"By not paying attention to it at all, it just kind of disappears," he said.

"It hasn't been a contagious thing as yet. As long as it doesn't become

disruptive, it will run its course."

Hall agreed: "Sometimes all this publicity causes more attention and makes

students want to wear something more."

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