ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) - An 11-year-old Florida boy and his father say there was no reason for the fifth grader’s teacher and principal to tell him his Hooters-themed mask was “offensive to women” and couldn’t be worn at school.
Greg Golba and his 11-year-old son Ian don’t understand why the boy had to remove his Hooters mask on Tuesday at Sunset Park Elementary School in Windermere, Florida. The mask is orange with the word “Hooters” written on it multiple times in white font.
“I don’t think it’s offensive at all. It’s just a restaurant," Ian said.
However, the fifth grader says his teacher told him it was not appropriate for school, and when he asked why, she told him to go ask the principal. Ian did just that.
“He told me to take it off three times, and I asked him why. He just said to take it off. So, I took it off, and I had to wear a different mask,” Ian said.
The 11-year-old put on a second mask he had with him. But his father says he doesn’t understand why Ian had to remove the original mask at all.
“The principal told me it was deemed offensive to women and inappropriate,” Golba said. “There is nothing offensive or derogatory about this mask.”
Golba says Ian has worn the Hooters mask to school for four weeks and was only told twice recently to remove it.
“We go there as a family. We eat there... They have the best chocolate cakes,” Golba said.
The district does not comment on discipline matters but says the Hooters mask violates student dress code, which reads in part, “The principal at each school reserves the right to determine what appropriate dress is for the school.”
Ian wants to continue wearing the mask to school but says he will remove it if asked to do so.