School Makes Special Needs Student Take Off Varsity Letter For Basketball Because He “Didn’t Earn It”

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KSNA Wichita woman claims her special needs son was asked to remove his letter jacket at school.

The student, Michael Kelley, has Down Syndrome and autism. Kelley is not a varsity athlete but participates in extra-curricular special needs basketball.

His family bought him a varsity letter like the other kids wear, but recently, his mother says he was asked to not wear the jacket.

Turns out, the letter is an official Wichita East High School varsity letter, and East High says he is not supposed to have that letter.

KSN talked to his mother Jolinda Kelley. She says Michael, her adopted son, is one of a kind and loves to play basketball.

When he was recognized for participating, Jolinda bought a varsity letter and put that letter on the jacket.

She was shocked when she says he was asked at school to take the jacket off.

“Another parent, from what I am told, was upset that my son was wearing his letter jacket.”

The mother claims her son was asked to take that jacket off and was given a sweat shirt to wear instead.

The family says it was told only varsity teams can wear the letter according to East High’s policy.

East High Principal Ken Thiessen says, “Teachers told the parents they would prefer he not wear the letter on his jacket.”

KSN also asked Thiessen if the school would consider giving a varsity letter to special needs kids.

“We have considered it, and our decision was no. We decided that is not appropriate in our situation because it is not a varsity level competition.”

Thiessen says his building decided varsity letters would be for varsity letter winners only. KSN found out that there is no district-wide policy in Wichita.

The school claimed it was school policy, but the Athletic Director for the entire school district says it is NOT district policy: The family turned to J. Means, USD 259’s Athletic Director. He told the family that when he was the athletic director at Northwest High their policy was to allow special needs students to earn letters, just like other athletes.


This can’t be real. There’s just no way possible. There can’t be this many assholes concentrated in one school. Parents, teachers, AND the principal all wanna take a nice steamy dump on a special needs student, just because they can. And everyone in the community is just COOL with this??

The kid has Goddamn DOWNS SYNDROME and just wants to belong. Give him a fucking letter. Jesus H. Christ. Was he really on the varsity team? The correct answer is – who gives a shit? There isn’t anything on earth that matters less than a varsity letter. They cost the schools five cents and they’re handed out at the coach’s discretion. But the letter means the world to him and he thinks it actually matters. So let him have it. It takes a special piece of human garbage to try to take that away from him.

This is just another example of adults ruining things for kids. I blame the teachers, parents, and the dooshnozzle principal. But the head man has to take the most blame here. This was the principal’s quote:

“Teachers told the parents they would prefer he not wear the letter on his jacket.”

What a gutless va-jay-jay. Teachers and parents would prefer he not wear the letter on his jacket? You know what a real leader does in that situation? They tell the parents to go fuck themselves. That’s what the Murdock principal would’ve done. But 99% of administrators get to where they are because they refuse to be controversial. They give into bullies because it’s a lot easier to do that than to stand up to them and do the right thing. They are professional climbers and they have ZERO integrity. Ken Thiessen is a prime example.


By the way, this type of shit doesn’t happen in schools like Worcester North that are located in urban areas. This is some small town, soccer mom shenanigans. No Worcester parent would EVER do something like this. But the world revolves around little Johnny in the burbs. If little Johnny didn’t make the varsity team on account of the fact that he sucks, then it’s obviously the coach’s fault because he doesn’t realize that Johnny is the next big thing. And if little Johnny doesn’t get to wear a varsity letter, then why should the special needs kid? Who gives a fuck if the kid has to live with a disability that you and I could never dream of for the rest of his life. Sure it will make Michael Kelley feel great about himself as he walks around the hallways. But rules are rules right?

My question is, how come no one seems to have a problem when every time I put on Sports Center I see another heart warming story about the special needs kid who got in at the end of the game and scored a touchdown or hit a three pointer? There’s thousands of videos like that on Youtube. Here’s one:

But, but, but….the red team didn’t play defense!! They just LET him score. If that was little Johnny they would’ve defended him. That’s no fair!!! I want this game forfeited!!

Anyway we found out about this story because someone sent us the link from Barstool Sports. I used to read Barstool back when I was 22 and I was easily entertained by a “guess that ass” contest. Part of the reason we started the blog was that we saw what they did and realized we could do it a million times better. Here was their take on this story:

Sorry guys but I fail to see the problem here. I mean Michael Kelley looks like a great kid, but the article pretty clearly states he plays in a recreational league. Doesn’t say he plays varsity that I can see. So what, we’re just gonna let special needs kids wear varsity jackets because they like sports? Are we just gonna let them bang the cheerleaders because they like girls? The athletic director very clearly says every student has the ability to EARN their letter (and subsequent sex partners). If Mikey wants to do that then he better get his ass out of that rec league and into real playing shape. That’s what Michael Jordan did when he got cut. Didn’t go buy himself a fake letter and walk around school like the toast of the town.

What a brotastic take!!! It’s funny because he talked about banging cheerleaders, and since he the kid had down syndrome then clearly he’s not banging any cheerleaders. Get it??? It’s funny because the kid has down syndrome.

Anyway, if the school has any guts they’ll give this kid back his varsity letter and issue an apology to his family. Then the principal will resign and go and get a job with the IRS.

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7 Comment(s)
  • ToddParker'sstache
    March 29, 2015 at 7:14 am

    More catering to the selfish. See it a thousand times everyday. I hope Mom puts letter on jacket,jacket on young man, and lawyer on school and principal. Never heard of anything so selfish. Who actually walked up to him and told him to take it off? Should be kicked in the balls.

  • citizen x
    March 29, 2015 at 6:32 am


  • Jafreese
    March 28, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    School should have gone totally the other way and given the kid an official honorary letter and jacket themselves, with a ceremony at a game and everything.

  • steven spangler
    March 28, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    If I was the kid’s parents I’d take the varsity letter off and replace it with an F and a U.

  • Clean Hippie
    March 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Does the kid have the opportunity to try out for the team like everybody else? If he doesn’t, then by all means, let him have it and feel good. If he does, he should try out and earn it like everybody else. I thought that someone who complains about participation trophies would get that. If the coach doesn’t let him on the team (or at least participate in some way, e.g., team manager, waterboy, or some bullshit title), then he’s a dick. But jeez, I thought you were all about EQUAL rights, not special treatment. I’m surprised at you, TurtleBoy.

    • RJ
      March 28, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      High school sports is a series of participation trophies because no one cares if anyone wins or loses. It’s not like anyone is impressed if some 17 year olds win the state championship, let alone merely being on a team. You know who cares about high school sports achievements (or any high school achievements) after the age of 20? Losers.

  • RJ
    March 28, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    How can you taint the mighty accomplishment of earning a varsity letter in high school athletics by just giving it away to a kid because it will make him feel good??? Since when are high school athletics supposed to be used to make kids feel good about themselves??

    Hopefully i don’t have to explain that I’m being sarcastic.

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