EVERETT, Wash. – Officials at Mariner High School in Everett, Washington banned student apparel depicting professional sports teams this year over fears local gangs use team colors to identify their members.

Parents of Mariner High School students contacted My Everett News to complain about the school’s recent ban on professional sports team apparel. The new rule prohibits students from wearing any professional sports team clothing, with the exception of Seattle teams.

The policy, implemented at only one of the area’s high schools, apparently caused confusion among students about what’s permitted and what’s not, which prompted school officials to issue a letter to clarify.

“We have had some inquiries regarding the recent changes to our dress code communicated to the Mariner community in our welcome back letter.  Specific concern was the banning of non-Seattle professional sports team apparel.  I would like to provide you the cause of this change,” principal Brent Kline wrote, according to the news site.

“Over the past months there has been an increase in gang activity in our Mariner community.  We are vigilant about keeping this specific behavior out of our school.  We have been successful in the past due to continuing coordination with the Everett area gang task force.  Our ever-changing dress code is in response to the on-going learning that we acquire from our partnership with the task force.

“We made the decision to ban professional sports team apparel as we have learned that gangs are using it as a way to identify…

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