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NY Students Prohibited From Wearing Scarves

MONTGOMERY, N.Y. (CBS) ― Some Orange County high school students are sticking their necks out to defy authority after the school board set a ban on scarves when a boy wore a scarf that was interpreted as a form of "gang paraphernalia."

It seems like a ridiculous ruling with winter weather around the corner, but Valley Central High School aren't kidding around. No neckwear, period.

Senior Brittney Michelle Smith told CBS 2 she's one of several students who was disciplined for refusing to remove her scarf at the Montgomery school.

"I'm going to college to be a state trooper, so I don't want anything to do with gangs! It's fashion and to keep warm," she said.

It all began last Thursday when a student wore a scarf to school. An administrator looked at the scarf and decided it was some kind of show of support for gangs.

Students say the boy denied supporting gangs.

"We asked him, 'Why do you wear scarves?' And he said, 'Because they match my outfit!'" Smith told CBS 2. "It's suspicion, it's discrimination, and it's not fair."

A day later, the principal announced a new policy: no scarves of any kind could be worn inside the school building.

School Board President Bob Santo said the sudden ban on all scarves may have been an "over reaction" and it's being reviewed.

"Somebody wore something that was interpreted as inappropriate," Santo said. "I think an accommodation can be made."

Most students hope the ban on scarves is lifted soon.

"I think it's ridiculous, people getting in trouble just for scarves," said freshman Hannah Schmitt.

"It's the latest fashion trend, everyone is wearing them, it's really in season," added senior Brittney Ann Smith. "Other kids were wearing them to stay warm because we're not allowed to wear jackets."

Until it's settled, students say they'll wear scarves in protest, fighting for their right to be fashionable. School administrators are scheduled to meet tomorrow morning and may lift the prohibition on scarves.
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