Countless Canadians paid tribute to the 16 victims of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus crash by wearing sports jerseys on Thursday. But one teen says he was suspended for taking part in Jersey Day — because it was considered a violation of his school’s dress code.
Philippe Volek, a 14-year-old student near Montreal, Quebec, told the Canadian Press that he wore what appears to be an FC Barcelona soccer jersey to honor those lost in the tragic April 6 crash.
“I thought it was important to support the families,” Volek told the press outlet.
His teacher and principal disagreed. Though Canadians were encouraged to take part in Jersey Day, the school demanded that Volek change into a polo shirt that was in accordance with its dress code.
The teen instead chose to take a suspension.
“I wanted to stay loyal to my beliefs, and I want to support [Jersey Day],” he said. “It’s for a good cause, and I believe it makes a difference for the families.”
School spokesman Bernard Dufourd disputed Volek’s intentions, as his jersey was for soccer rather than hockey.
“If the student had chosen to wear a Broncos sweater, we would have understood his gesture was noble,” Dufourd said, noting that Volek has had dress code violations in the past.
Dufourd did acknowledge that officials at Augustin-Norbert-Morin High School were eager to plan an alternative tribute to the Humboldt team.
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