A Nigerian Texas high school senior, who decided to dress up as a slave for a campus costume event, says school officials told him to change his outfit to avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable. The school district says otherwise.
During spirit week at Ridge Point High School, annual homecoming festivities encourage students dress up based on a daily theme. Tuesday was “Decades Day.” Many came decked out as flappers, greasers, hippies, and other fashionista-friendly eras. Brian Ibe instead dug back to the 1600’s and came as a slave. He wore a pseudo-iron slave collar with chains bound to his wrists, a ball and chain around one of his ankles, and a shredded T-shirt splattered in fake blood to emulate whipping. He carried a pitchfork and bag of cotton.
“I wanted to be different,” Ibe told KPRC.
Brian Ibe was sporting a ripped shirt with fake blood, a ball and chain, shackles, a pitchfork, and a bag of cotton. The senior says he was paying homage to his ancestors.
“I decided to dress in the time when there were slaves, from about the 1600s to the 1800s,” the young man said. The school told Ibe to take off the getup before “it causes problems.” Ibe, who doesn’t want problems, decided to take off the costume in fear of an in school suspension.
get ready Ridge Point i will a Slave for decade day i have all the props and costume— Brian Ibe (@brian_ibe) September 24, 2016
Dress coded part 2 pic.twitter.com/t5XCvOOSyE— Brian Ibe (@brian_ibe) September 27, 2016
“While I am unable to share specific information about any student, it is important to note that the RPHS administration has been reminding students that they will be enforcing the dress code despite the daily spirit week activities.
“If a student is dressed inappropriately, and/or if their dress is considered a distraction to the learning environment, they will and have been asked to change clothes. In the last couple of days, less than a dozen students have been asked to change or modify their clothing.
“Ridge Point High School is encouraging students to express their school spirit this week, while adhering to the dress code. It is important that the campus maintain a distraction-free learning environment.”