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Published June 1, 1998
Univ. of Miami, Georgetown Univ. and UNLV apparel, in addition to Broncos jackets, Avalanche jerseys and Rockies hats, are examples of clothing banned at Adams 12 School District in CO as a result of the '92 "Safe School Act," according to Dylan Tomlinson of the DENVER POST. Adams 12 is the first local school district to implement a dress code that puts sports apparel in the same category with clothes that advertise or advocate alcohol or drug use. While the ban of sports attire is relatively new in CO, its is becoming "increasingly common across the country," as school districts in L.A., S.D., Chicago, Detroit and Miami have also imposed similar dress codes to "counter gang activity on school campuses." School officials say the dress code has been "tremendously successful." Patti Terhune, Dir of Alternative Services for Adams 12: "Gangs are the biggest concern. Sports attire is tremendously popular with gangs, and by eliminating all pro merchandise it is one major thing we don't have to worry about" (DENVER POST, 5/31). COLORS: Tomlinson reports that Bulls, Rockies and Royals attire "are the most directly connected to gangs," with the Crips gang favoring the Rockies, Royals, Dodgers, UNC, Georgetown and UCLA, while the Bloods most often use Bulls, Red Sox, Phillies, Reds, UNLV and Univ. of NE merchandise as identification. Gang member Dontae Riggins, who wears more "White Sox merchandise than Frank Thomas," cites rapper Dr. Dre as the primary reason his gang began wearing White Sox apparel: "I don't watch baseball. I don't like any of that (stuff). We wear this 'cause Dre does and it looks cool." Raiders Dir of Marketing Morris Bradshaw said he is becoming "increasingly frustrated with the negative exposure his team gets" due to its ties to gangs: "I get really sick of turning on 'America's Most Wanted' or 'Cops' and seeing someone wearing our stuff being busted. It's a concern and it's a not something we're proud of, but we don't know what to do about it" (DENVER POST, 5/31).