No Letter For You!

No Letter For You!

Wichita East Tells Special Needs Student To Remove Letter Jacket

Michael Kelly, seen here on the right, was told to remove his letter jacket because his competition was not "varsity level."

Kansas again took the national spotlight today after KSN reported today that Wichita East special-needs student Michael Kelly was told to remove his letter jacket at school. Kelley has Down Syndrome and autism. He plays basketball on the school's special needs team, and his family bought him the letter jacket to celebrate his efforts. Michael's mother Jolinda Kelly told KSN, "Another parent, from what I had been told, was upset that my son was wearing his letter jacket."

Wichita East principal Ken Thiessen told KSN that the school had considered letting special-needs students to wear the letters, but it was “not appropriate, because it’s not a varsity-level competition.”

It must be tough holding the line and defending what's so very important, like high school varsity letters.

We checked, and USD 259 has no official policy on the matter. Denying these kids the right to earn or hold letters is up to each individual school, so it's the administration of Wichita East to blame here - not the district.

The story has now appeared on nearly every major national news outlet from CNN, Fox Sports, USA Today, and ESPN. Thanks, Wichita East. We were sure tired of all that positive attention via WSU.

Here's the KSN story:

And here's the petition to change the school's ridiculous policy: