Grand Island Student Suspended for NRA T-shirt

March 15, 2014 Updated Mar 15, 2014 at 6:36 PM EDT

By Hannah Buehler

March 15, 2014 Updated Mar 15, 2014 at 6:36 PM EDT

GRAND ISLAND, NY (WKBW) Much controversy now surrounds a t-shirt a Grand Island sophomore chose to wear to school one day.

Sixteen-year-old Shane Kinney is an avid outdoors-man. He likes to hunt and fish, and is a member of the National Rifle Association. He says he thought nothing of wearing an NRA logo t-shirt to school, but that he got in trouble with school administrators for his outfit.

“He (a staff member) looked at it, he read it and told me to turn it inside out or duct tape it,” said Shane. “I refused.”

Administrators told Shane that he violated the student code of conduct, which states that students' outfits shall not interfere with the educational process, and not promote illegal or violent activity. Shane received one day of in-school suspension.

“I personally didn’t find anything wrong with it, and I don't know what they were thinking,” Shane told Eyewitness News.

“He didn’t think there was anything wrong with it and I don't either,” said Kim Kinney, Shane’s mother.

The Kinney family says they have received an overwhelming amount of support, and many people are applauding Shane for sticking up for his first amendment rights. Although, with all good comes bad, and according to the Kinney’s, some people are taking this issue one step too far.

“There are some people who are threatening school administrators,”
said Kim Kinney. “We as a family…that was not our intention. Some people are being over zealous.”

“I thank everyone for the support...but the threats aren’t needed,” said Shane.

Still, Shane and his family are sticking by his decision to wear the shirt to school.

“This should have never been an issue,” said Dwane Kinney, Shane’s father.