Student Club's Pink 'Cat Hat' Sales End During School Hours After Parents Complain - NBC New York

Student Club's Pink 'Cat Hat' Sales End During School Hours After Parents Complain

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hat Controversy at Long Island School

    For some, it's not a question of style but a political issue. Greg Cergol reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017)

    A student club at a Long Island high school has been asked to curtail selling the pink knit hats that became popular during the women's march last month, after a parent complained about them to school officials. 

    Students belonging to a new school club on women's issues at the Pierson Middle-High School in Sag Harbor began sporting the hats last month. After speaking with school officials, they decided to stop selling the hats during school hours, a spokeswoman said. 

    Club member Allura Leggard said, "I wear this hat because I feel empowered. I feel like an empowered woman." 

    But the wave of pink spells only distraction for Sag Harbor mother Janice D'Angelo, whose 12-year-old daughter attends middle school there.

    "The hats represent a political notion, and it shouldn't be brought into school," said D'Angelo. 

    "During lunchtime, I don't want my daughter subjected to a political issue at school," she said. 

    When she learned on Facebook that the student club was selling hats during school hours, she voiced her dissent to Sag Harbor school officials. 

    Sag Harbor school officials had a discussion with the student club about selling the hats. A spokeswoman initially said the club was asked to stop selling the hats during school hours, but later clarified that it was the club's decision to do so.

    "It's not disappointing because we're fighting for what we believe in, and we won't be stopped," said Sarah Mac, another member of the student club. 

    The schools superintendent said in a statement that the students' objective is to unify, and the district encourages their freedom of expression through positive actions. 

    The cat-hat wearers say opposition to President Trump did help make the hats a symbol for women, but they say it's about more than politics.

    "The hat represents feminism and equality for all," said student Isabel Peters. 

    "We have to put a spotlight back on women's issues, and this is one way to do it, in a nice, pretty pink way that keeps our heads warm," said Sag Harbor resident Kathleen Mulcahy. 

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