Tacoma student told no Steelers gear on Seahawks Appreciation Day


by KING 5 News


Posted on January 14, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 14 at 8:39 PM

TACOMA, Wash. – A middle school student who is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan went home from school Friday after showing up in his favorite team's jersey on Seahawks Appreciation Day.

Administrators at Truman Middle School in Tacoma say Grendon Bailie, 13, violated the strict school dress code. Truman is a uniformed school. School district spokesperson Tracy Flores says students were told they could wear blue and green Friday. If not, they had to wear their uniforms.

"This is exactly what I wore today," said Grendon in his sweatshirt with the number 32 on it. He says he asked the vice principal the day before if he could wear Steelers gear and was told it was either Seahawks colors or the school uniform.

Grendon didn't think it was fair.

"All those Seahawks fans got to wear their stuff, so why can't I?," said Grendon.

Grendon's dad, Sto, told his son he'd back him up, whatever he decided to do. He even wrote Grendon a note for the principal.

"I'm walking by and he says 'I told you, you couldn't wear that.' And then he said 'you either have to change or you get in-school suspension' which is like sitting in a room all day. I just walked outside and called my dad to pick me up," said Grendon.

"I thought the note from dad would fix it," said Sto. "He told me 'stay by the phone,' so when he called, OK, here we go."

The school district says Grendon wasn't threatened with suspension and he was offered a change of clothes right on the spot.

When word of what happened reached Pittsburgh radio stations, the Bailie's phone began ringing off the hook.

"I thought it was a dumb rule we challenged it and OK, we lost," said Sto.

Grendon says he won't be watching the Seahawks on Sunday but you can bet he'll be watching his beloved Steelers against the Ravens Saturday.  
The notoriety has its benefits. Grendon says former Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley plans to send him an autographed picture for supporting the Steelers Nation.

The Steelers defeated the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season.

KING 5's Lori Matsukawa contributed to this report.