School bans student from wearing boots with 'gang-related' images
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Kanye Booker, a seventh-grader at Grandview Heights Middle School, got customized Timberland boots for his birthday last month.
He wore them to school last week but was stopped by his assistant principal in the hallway.
"He stopped me and said, 'I like your boots,' but he said I can't wear them again because of the crown because it's gang banging he told me," said Kanye Booker.
The man who customized the shoes says the designs don't have anything to do with gangs.
"He said he wanted a royal theme," said "Serious Tha Great."
"One side of the shoe I put the great pyramids on the toe and I put king on the side, which says king Kanye."
"The other shoe I put a B because his last name is Booker, and I just did a few more designs on it," said "Serious Tha Great."
Kanye's mom tells me her 13-year-old is a good student athlete and he's not in a gang.
"He doesn't even know anything about gangs, and I don't want him to," said Iteria Booker. "I want him to be a kid as long as he can, and I try to keep him doing things, skating, movies, things like that and family day to keep him out of the streets."
In fact, she says the principal called her today and complimented her son.
"He said that he wished his school had nothing but Kanyes in it, and that was pretty good for me to hear," said Iteria Booker.
We reached out to Shelby County Schools Media Relations, and they never sent us the actual dress code policy, only a gang policy on school campuses.
Kanye's mom tells us the ban stays in effect. At issue appears to be the crown on the boots.
SCS issued this statement: "School leaders felt it was in the best interest of the child not to wear these boots to school because they included a symbol that could be confused with gang affiliation."
"I think that we should raise our young men up to be kings and our princesses to be queens and to respect that," said "Serious Tha Great."
"I mean we live in the city where Elvis is the king of rock and roll."
"Other kids at my school don't have anything like this, so I just wanted to express my feelings," said Kanye Booker.
While Kanye loves his new boots, he admits with it getting warmer outside, he probably wouldn't wear the boots as much anyway. However, his mom is still waiting for an explanation for why a crown would be considered a gang symbol.