Forest Lake school bans Taylor Gang shirts because 'name is code word for marijuana use'
Taylor Gang records is an acclaimed hip hop record label. Founder Wiz Khalifa was even nominated for two Grammys this year.
Unsurprisingly, Gang's rappers, like many others, often sing the praises of ganja in their lyrics. Label artist Juicy J, for instance, recently penned a track called "Smoke That Bitch" where he runs down some of his favorite marijuana strains -- Purple Kush, Sour Diesel, OG Kush, and so forth -- then professes his love for smoking large quantities of each.
But in a decision that seems to lead down an awfully slippery slope, administrators at Forest Lake's Century Junior High have decided students cannot wear Taylor Gang clothing to school -- not because the shirts depict pot leaves or paraphernalia, but rather because, in the words of Century Principal Ben Lewis, Gang's "brand and name are code words for marijuana use."
Sanita Rouse, a student at the school, is a big Wiz Khalifa fan. Rouse told KSTP she admires the rapper because "he has a way of expressing life-things in different terms with his music."
Rouse may have poor taste in music, but her shirt doesn't appear to be in violation of Century's dress code.
To show her admiration, Rouse likes to wear a "Taylor Gang or Die" t-shirt. But when she wore the shirt to school, teachers told her to either take the shirt off or wear it inside-out. Principal Lewis has now banned all Gang-related shirts from school because of the label's association with smoking herb.
Rouse asked Lewis to explain the ban. The principal told her that the shirts are "basically saying I got weed or I smoke weed, come and get it," Rouse said.
Century Junior High's dress code prohibits "clothing that displays tobacco, alcohol, drugs, drug paraphernalia, sexual innuendo, or offensive words, pictures or symbols." It does not prohibit clothing associated with artists who like to "smoke that bitch" before dropping bombs in the studio. Or rolling out of bed in the morning.
Rouse thinks singling out Taylor Gang clothing constitutes a double standard.
She said: "There are country music artists that sing about chewing tobacco or drinking beer, yet we can't wear our shirts?"
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- Republicans want China to reduce emissions before Minnesota does
Sat., Oct. 17, 12:00am
Sun., Oct. 18, 12:00pm
Fri., Oct. 23, 7:00pm
Sat., Oct. 24, 7:00pm
- Sketchy Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill empire crumbles
- Anti-abortion investigators' shocking revelation: U does research