Border Patrol T-shirts warrant punishment at Dakota Ridge High, "F*ck America" signs don't?

border patrol t shirts khow cropped.jpg
Big pic below.
Was Dakota Ridge High School student Bryce Benson punished for wearing a T-shirt that read "Border Patrol" while others who staged a mock-demonstration featuring signs that read "Fuck America" weren't -- or at least not initially? Ex-Congressman and recent gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo's not sure of all the particulars, but he senses the ripe aroma of political correctness.

"We are fighting a major battle in this country over borders," says Tancredo, who spoke about the issue at a Jefferson County School District meeting last night, "and that battle has a lot of different dimensions to it -- but it's very political. And the school district is very political, and very liberal -- and so these kids pay a price for that."

Thumbnail image for tom tancredo by john johnston.jpg
Tom Tancredo.
The Border Patrol T-shirt issue first came to the fore last month in the Dakota Ridge student newspaper, The Ridge Review. An article headlined "Who We Be?" noted that "last Friday, September 2nd, several boys wore T-shirts that read 'Border Patrol.'"

The problem? The shirts were perceived by some as insulting to Latino members of the school population. Said one student: "This is an embarrassment to the school. We are a school with ethnic diversity, and the fact that a few in the student body would go out and alienate part of our school and the rival's school populace is disgusting."

The Ridge Review piece reports that the T-shirt wearers made "four trips to the office" over their clothing choice and received "a stern talking-to from the cops at the game." However, they were "allowed to wear the shirts in school and to the game."

But there are at least two more variations on this story. A version subsequently shared by KHOW's Peter Boyles and the website AboveTopSecret.com went something like this: Students wearing the T-shirts were prevented from riding a school bus to a football game in Pueblo due to their attire; they had to find their own transportation for the very long ride. And the next week, AboveTopSecret.com maintains, one of the students -- Bryce Benson -- was suspended for three days, apparently for his choice in clothing.

border patrol t shirts khow.jpg
A photo of students wearing the T-shirts posted by KHOW (click to enlarge).
Oh, yeah: Around this time, another student staged a mock-demonstration on school grounds as part of a film project. It included signs emblazoned with the slogan "Fuck America." However, that student wasn't disciplined until after the brouhaha erupted concerning the Border Patrol T-shirts.

Dakota Ridge High School principal James Jelinek's take? He doesn't address the "Fuck America" signs in a letter to parents dated today and on view in its entirety below. But he details the Border Patrol incident, insisting that the student in question was told he couldn't ride the bus because he was harassing a male cheerleader. Then, he goes on, the mother of a Bryce friend made such a big stink while insisting that the T-shirt was the real issue he'd been banned from the bus that she and her son had to be escorted from the campus by school district and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office personnel. Moreover, Jelinek accuses the T-shirt wearing student and his mom (neither Benson nor his mother, Regan, are specifically named) of presenting lies about what happened, resulting in "restrictions and consequences for both of them."

Into this chaotic environment steps Tom Tancredo.


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250 comments
FireJelinek
FireJelinek

This Principal is the WORST!!  He is a complete politician and slick and slimy.  He pushes his agenda and hides behind his title. I knew of him when he ran a Middle School in the mountains and he opted to buy new lockers and improve landscaping instead of buying new books for the kids. He has NO business running a school in this state and I hope he gets fired or transferred out as soon as possible. His agenda is clear. He sucked up to Michelle Obama when she was here.  I am hoping he will be exposed soon for his liberal anti American agenda and be fired.

Ekalb50
Ekalb50

1. Mrs. Lucas (assistant principal). Her son wrecked his car through a nursing hime killing 15 elderly. He was drunk.2.Mrs. Jeffords (assistant principal). Her oldest daughter jessica has her nipples pierced, i saw it repeatidly. Her middle child Kia wrecked a block away from the school and killed a family of five.3.Mr. Heckel (assistant principal). repeatidly touched my bum and whispered sexual things into my ear as i walked through the hall.4.Dr.J (homosexual). has been known to sell drugs to students. has an extremely bad coke habit.

Frank Lucas Harlem
Frank Lucas Harlem

No border patrol means hundreds of Mexicans up I-25 with loads of marijuana. I wonder if the Raider clad chicano students would like that?

A simple artist
A simple artist

Im the photographer that this story is about, as people continuously shocked that i would have the guts to say F#$% America. Well let me first qualify that this was a strictly art related project and had nothing to do with my personal and political views about America. But let me say this we all need to stop hiding behind the truth through lies, as we continue to euphemism our opinions about America we are only harming out selves we have all wanted to say F$%* America at some point in time, look what is happening in Denver right now? we are pepper spraying peaceful protestors, doesn't that go against out freedom of speech? or how about every time someone complains about our economy, or government, or educations system ext.we are all saying F#$% America. it is a part of life the only way to create a better system is to pick out and fix the flaws of our existing system.

Guest
Guest

I want to see the school pull the camera footage so I can witness Bryce Benson telling Dr. J. to fuck off. That would be much appreciated. And are you all getting this worked up over a shirt that supports the U.S. Military? That does not impact the learning at Dakota Ridge in any way shape or form. Oh and why would the people in Pueblo take this offensively at all? Honestly. Unless the population is illegal and has had some scuffs with border patrol, I don't believe there should be any reason any of them should take this seriously. Bryce Benson is getting suspended for wearing a perfectly allowed shirt to school, while kids are standing in the parking lot with firebombs, tire irons, and signs that say Fuck America. It clearly states in the code of conduct, Any item, if animate or inanimate is being possessed on school property, or in the general nexus of school, or being held in a menacing manner meant to instill fear or harm upon others, this is a ground for expulsion" I was scared from that picture, there were several students, wearing masks that represent gangs, holding inanimate firebombs in a menacing fashion. Why aren't they expelled? They've already done several things wrong. Tire iron is held in a threatening way, that's a deadly weapon, firebombs, deadly weapon, gang affiliation, against code of conduct, signs that say fuck america on school grounds.... I was informed that the kids in the photograph only received the tiny punishment they did because it was on school grounds. So now if you go out in public with firebombs, it's perfectly legal. This is stupid and everyone saying that Blake and Bryce are terrorists and bullies, how about you shove a thumb in your b-hole and keep quiet.

Hatemail
Hatemail

Illegal aliens are turning this country into a lawless pisshole.    Now, where can I order my Border Patrol shirt?  This is a great way to cleverly protest this FACT.

guest
guest

I am really tired of all of the political correctiveness within our country, state, county, city, jobs and in our schools. If God wanted to create robots it would have been a lot easier. All of us cloned and all we need is one comand to control ALL of us. But he didn't. He actually gave us a free mind, interesting concept, unless we are controled by the mass followers in this world. I really like the beauty in the differences within people. All of us being different makes the others whole. What I mean is if one of us may be weak in one area of our life there is another that is strong in this area. Face it, none of us are perfect, it takes all of us working together to be perfect, in which we can never be. Whose athority are we really following? If it is mans', then what men/women (politically correct)  made the rules? Can the rules change-ever? I can only wish that some people would think outside the box and that others would think indide the box. Lots of thought on this but if I am a follower I will never understand. There will always be an argument on differences in opinion, even within the "man-made rules." Even within this situation, take away the "Border patrol' off the front of the shirt and you have a gray shirt. What happens if it is not "gray shirt day" or if I don't like gray shirts? Or if you don't like gray shirts? Or if gray shirts are banned? Open up the mind that God gave you and be the person that God made you. EVERYONE HAS A PURPOSE, even if if not politically correct.

Hugh G Rection
Hugh G Rection

I love smoking meth and then molesting my children.

Blake Benson
Blake Benson

Well I'd like to set the record straight that I have in fact never been to jail. I'm sorry for the confusion. But I do admit to being a bully in high school. But sadly some of you "adults" feel high school defines who you will be for the rest of your life. I find it quite funny. I was a fighter in high school. I did it alot. I picked on anyone and everyone. But the person I am now, would go back and kick the shit out of the person I was. Our parents have taught us respect is the biggest thing you can have in life. Its a very valuable trait. But what we learned quickly was respect nobody that does not respect you. Which is why some may feel that we are "punks". I currently attend school at Arapahoe Community College. Take a wild guess what I'm majoring in? Criminal Justice. I would like to be a cop. So for those seeing my brother and I going to jail, I hate to disappoint you, but we will not be going to jail. Everyone will have an opinion on this matter. And I doubt the negative comments will stop. But I figured letting everyone know they were wrong was in order. 

guest
guest

i went to school with both the kids. got along fine with them, but totally saw how disrespectful these kids are. everything said is true. as well with justin, aaron, drew, etc. yup blake did throw shit over the balcony. yup blake did push kids over for no reason. yup blake did chew and spit in the halls. yup bryce did push kids for no reason. yup bryce did fight for no reason. and wasnt it bryce that got in a fight with some nerdy kid he was picking on because the kid had finally had enough? o ya and what happened? the kid kicked the ever loving shit out of that disrespectful punk. but mrs benson, keep living in your bubble where your kids do nothing wrong. dr j is an awesome principal with an awesome staff. its sad that my old school is getting publicly recognized for this stupid stuff caused by a couple disrespectful punks. unreal. and i cant wait to see both bensons in prison one day. they can both share a cell because we all know both of them will be there. its bound to happen. its not if, it is when it will happen. and as for bryces dad, what does he think about it? i have met him, and he seemed like a very nice respectful guy. hes not on here sticking up for this bs. is it because he knows his kids are little shitheads??

Nick
Nick

God, this is the best thing I've ever read. Bomb threats, kids holding up signs that say "fuck America" holding molotov cocktails. Couple kids wear border patrol shirts though and the school freaks out. This is just awesome, the school really has its priorities set strait.

nevertrustthelocals
nevertrustthelocals

Apparently, it's not about the silly t-shirt at all, it's the fact that the Benson juvenile in question yelled at a member of staff. Yelling at a school staff member would likely get you suspended, if not expelled, so I have little sympathy for whatever 'cause' they're claiming  to be persecuted for.  It also sounds like there is an established history of bullying and harassment that these two boys have displayed -- also a case for expulsion.        

   The real issue seems to be a combination of manipulative parenting, lack of enforcement of appropriate boundaries for teenagers and lack of holding them accountable for their actions.  Maybe these kids should simply be home schooled by their parents, since their mother wants to be the guardians of their education and morals?  Her two sons could go on to say and do what they want at home with her 24/7, and the students and staff of the school wouldn't have to deal with their harassment. 

13
13

I'd like to know if these kids would have the balls to wear those shirts so proudly out here in California where the schools are....what's the politically correct way to say this......less white.

MsMeT
MsMeT

This is taking political correctness way to far!  I think there are people making far too much out of shirts that say "Border Patrol".  The fact that people would or could even make that stretch to Latino intimidation is DISGUSTING, exactly what kind of adults are running this school???

Searching for the Truth
Searching for the Truth

Ms. Benson-

I have posted this asking for your comment and yet you have failed to respond to it, though you have responded to other comments.  So once again, I resubmitt my post for your to respond to:As I read through all of these comments from both sides I find it interesting that you feel the need to refute every point that is made.  Isn't your case made in the articles that are being presented?  It seems odd to me that you feel the need to take on this crusade of another student.  You have asked for the facts in numerous cases, and from what I have gathered from these stories was that your son was not riding the bus, rather it was a friend who was prevented from getting on.  You have not refuted that your son yelled in the face of an authority figure, using profanity, which led to your son's suspension.  You have acknowledged that your son is still allowed to wear these shirts at school.  So my question is, why is this your fight?  Why is this not the fight of the student and his parents who were prevented from riding the bus?  Why were they not the ones to stand with Mr. Tancredo at the school board meeting?  I ask this as you have said the facts have been misrepresented by the school district and the principal, yet from what I can see between both your story and the schools story is that your son is not the one involved with the bus, which is the heart of the arguement here.  Please enlighten us as to why this is your fight and not the other students?

Tom
Tom

The school district loses either way. It appears from this story that all the school did was explain to the kids that the t-shirts may be viewed as threatening.  If in the name of free speech the school does nothing, and something violent occurs, they are criticized for doing nothing (as was the case for Columbine).  If they do something, as they did in this case, which was to simply talk to the kids, they are criticized for blocking free speech.  The facts indicate that Bryce harassed a male cheerleader and the school took appropriate action.  It appears family and friends are manipulating the public to get attention and perhaps another law suit settlement as they apparently did around the anti-Obama t-shirt incident 4 years ago.  Let's not be led by such transparent and childish tactics.  Incidentally, I'm a big supporter of strengthening our boarders.  That is now what this issue is about.

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

You forgot Mr. Mitchell(Bryces' AP)

Guest
Guest

I was in denver last night. there was no pepper spraying going on whatsoever. and the point isn't the fuck america signs, its the firebombs.

gelatinouscube
gelatinouscube

 If you are indeed who you claim to be, have you ever apologized to those individuals that you bullied and stalked?   You do realize the negative impact and impression you apparently left of numerous individuals isn't going to altered simply because you desire it to be?   Your philosophical posturings are just empy words otherwise.

   The fact that you 'find it quite funny' that people still retain a negative opinion of you suggests that you haven't significantly changed your core attitudes. Your perception of yourself is apparently your reality, and those people who don't agree haven't earned your 'respect', i.e., the right to not be harassed by you and your sibling? 

   Respect, from you own words, seems to be the upper hand of a power differential.  It's a distorted notion.  Respect is not obligated, most especially when there is an acknowledged history of abuse demonstrated by you.   Your prior attempts at attention seeking via bullying and stalking was some warped way of getting 'respect' -- if you want people to change their attitudes towards you, you'll want to work on what ever issues you have.  A desire to become a cop means very little as far as your character -- decent people become cops, and bullies are often drawn to becoming LE, due to their craving for 'respect' via the badge.  I'm curious if the latter is your underlying motivation.   

I Support DRHS
I Support DRHS

Although I have read many negative things about you and your brother, you deserve credit for admitting that you were a bully.  It's good to read that you are trying to change that, Blake.

Jjohnson
Jjohnson

It is about the T shirt. If you received a high school diploma maybe you would understand that.

Jjohnson
Jjohnson

The issue is not what he was suspended for. The issue is he was told to take the shirt off. Now clearly you must acquire a high school diploma to understand that(clearly you have not). I believe you opening your mouth before you know the facts lets people know you are a Dr. J supporter. The administration is all about lying to make themselves look good. Im just glad to see that someone in the high school is showing Dakotas Ridges true goals for students. Ruining their futures. Do not trust anything that school says.

John
John

Did ya see his picture smart one?? Bryce is as you say....  less white.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong post, 13 -- one we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Cribbs
Cribbs

Are you actually serious?  Hmmmmm, the first time DRHS plays a primarily Hispanic school the morons show up in Border Patrol shirts.  And you seriously don't think they're looking for a reaction?  Where were those shirts when Golden or Ponderosa were on the schedule?  Pretty sure if Montebello were on the docket the shirt of choice would have had "KKK" written across the front.  Will you still have your head buried firmly in the sand when that happens?

Bottomline, nobody was suspended, denied bus access, or even kept from the game for wearing the shirts, so what are you upset about?  Don't believe me, there's a photo floating around with the moron crew right in the front row at the Pueblo game.  And your "angel" Byrce has a sneer and his middle finger up.  Classy as usual.

JenCo
JenCo

Because Union Hacks and Administrators have been harassing Bryce to discredit Regan and her message of truth.  Point in case:  4 times the boys were taken to the office and harassed about the t-shirts..amongst many other incidents you are not aware of.  What happened to zero tolerance w/ F America, tire irons, and Molotov coctails (petrol bombs?)  That's what I thought.  Be good little obama soldiers and do what we say, or else you get treated like Bryce and his friends.  Way to go Bryce!  The Unions and Socialist indoctrinators are worried they are going to lose control of the school board after the election...desparate act from dispicable people - those administrators, and union hacks...how pathetic!  Time to put the students first and reform Jeffco.  GO DADS!  (And thanks Tanc...I owe u one)

Regan Benson
Regan Benson

The reason I "failed" to respond to your previous post was because you responded to another commentor first off with, "You idiot". Second, you won't indentify yourself and if you have facts, you should immediately identify yourself so that I know who I am talking to, I don't hide nor do I feel a need to, why are you hiding? Third, I have NOT refuted every point that is made. This is all indicative of you being prepared to do nothing but launch an attack filled with filth and lies.

Now, since you have addressed me respectfully with legitimate questions, in which I have no problem answering; the second you respond with filth or lies, the conversation is over, agreed? But I would first like you to respond with quotes from me of "refute" to every point that was made, or more importantly my quotes that you "feel" are refuting every point made, this way we can have an actual intelligent conversation.

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

Searching for the truth. Bryce did not yell or harass the principle, He simply asked why his friend couldnt ride the fan bus. He never yelled or cursed at him. The principle suspended him simply because he was embarrassed in front of his staff and students and because Bryce was wearing a shirt that he found inapropriate and racist. That is the truth behind the whole story. So before you question people you might want get your facts straight before you make an ass of yourself..

Searching for the Truth
Searching for the Truth

I also need to ask the general commentors on here, including DownWithDR as it seems he was the one kept off the bus, was anyone else who wore the shirt suspended for wearing the shirt?  I only ask as no one else seems to have come forward with any complaint about these shirts other than this one family.

Jjohnson
Jjohnson

Sir. You should probably delete your comment. Bryce never harassed a male cheerleader. No body did. The school is making this something that it isn't. The issue is he was told to take the shirt off.

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

Before you post lies as everyone else does... bryce was NOT the one to "harass" the cheerleader.

Tom
Tom

last sentence should have read: "That is NOT what this issue is about"

nevertrustthelocals
nevertrustthelocals

   Haha!   It's seems that the student and possibly a few of his cronies thrive on both negative and positive attention, so I'm sure some of them are lapping this up the way a dog drinks water in the toilet.  Facebook wall doesn't have enough sh*t stirring these days for certain people to get their fix, eh?

  I'm not a personal endorser of the principal's, having never met the man, but it's rather disingenuous of you to make this all about the shirt, when the student in question allegedly yelled and cussed out a staff member during the incident.  No doubt there is a bias, against a student who, by all accounts, has been a troublemaker and antagonist on previous occasions.  And he always has the option of being home schooled (possibly again,) or attending another school, unless he craves this attention to validate his esteem and make a spectacle of himself, which seems to be the case. 

13
13

What box do you think his parents checked when they enrolled him in school? I'd pay to see that kid use his fluent Spanish to tell a group of pissed off Latino's that he's just exercising his "freedom of speech".

13
13

Yes, he looks extremely Hispanic. I'm sure he'll be welcomed with open arms.

Searching for the Truth
Searching for the Truth

Thank you for not answering any of my questions.  I now have everything that I need to make an informed decision.  Your silence to those questions speaks volumes to the issue.  And before complaining of my comment about one being an "idiot," (which the person was) maybe you should take a look at what your son's friends are saying and have a frank discussion with them that they are not helping your cause.  They demonstrate the blatant disrespect that people are talking about here as it relates to this group of people.

With that being said, I see a he said, she said here.  Usually in these types of incidents both sides tend to distort the facts and what really occurred is somewhere inbetween.  You mentioned the police report, yet it does not strengthen your cause.  The officer said he was not sure what was said.  And based on what I have seen in your lack of a response to me and your attacks on others who question what happend, and an inability to provide any additonal facts which you commonly ask for I must conclude that the district acted appropriately.  I truly was not looking to attack, rather make an informed judgement and break through much of the dialouge that has occurred.

Guest
Guest

Or something of that sort.

Searching for the Truth
Searching for the Truth

How am I suppose to get the facts without asking questions?  Please keep referencing to everyone with profanities.  It really helps dispell the idea that you guys acted appropriately with the principal.

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

No. me and Bryce were the only ones wearing the shirt.

Guest
Guest

Or something of that sort.

Jjohnson
Jjohnson

Thank you. It is about time someone gets one part of the story right.

Regan Benson
Regan Benson

Thats what I figured, yours is a typical response of one who is not prepared to have a real, intelligent conversation, and one who hides due to insecurities and inconsistencies in their own self. I won't engage in it. Take care.

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

So your telling me your the principal? Please tell me which one.

TNTim
TNTim

I love you, Guest. Carry on.

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

We admit to wearing the shirts, so what?

Guest
Guest

Or something of that sort.

Guest
Guest

Bryce and I

You're making this too easy.

My2Cents
My2Cents

wow you just really don't have anything to say do you?

Cribbs
Cribbs

Really, and Bryce was told he couldn't ride either, right?  Bull shit bro, you know he could have rode and chose not to.  Tell the truth and watch how many people support you.

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

I had a conference with the principle that morning say i COULD ride the bus. We discussed that there would be no problems because in the first place I never even said anything to the male cheerleader. It was not until i slipped into a Border Patrol t-shirt the decision was made to be on that bus or not. They used the "harassment" as an excuse because how would the school look if they said i can not ride a bus over a t shirt?

Guest
Guest

Or something of that sort.

Guest
Guest

It's like you were there. Or something of that sort.

Cribbs
Cribbs

While your on the truth side.  Let's share the fact that nobody was denied bus access because of their shirt.  Nobody was denied access to the game because of their shirt, nobody was suspended because of their shirt.  Nobody had their first amendment rights taken away.  The disipline was a direct result of complete disrespect for rules and authority.  If you drive through a school zone at 80 mph and hit a kid would you expect to suffer any consequences?  Rules are there for a reason, respect and follow them and make something of yourself.  You'll be a much happier human being. 

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

if you read the comments posted on facebook.com you would realize i had done nothing wrong. i never swore and did not say anything wrong. it definitly was not the worst thing on the wall post. i simply said haha your a cheerleader. but his brother threatened to kill me? dr j said theres nothing to do about that. it just shows he wont do anything for me or any of my friends.

Guest
Guest

since you were the one doing it Justin.

DownWithDR
DownWithDR

being there and all i think i would know EXACTLY what happened.

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