CO Boy Can't Wear No. 18 Jersey To School
Colorado (FOX) While Colorado football fans look forward to Peyton Manning's Bronco debut, one Colorado School District says those No. 18 jerseys won't be allowed in class.
Konor Vanatta says, "Peyton Manning's been my favorite football player for a long time."
He's only eight.
But Konor Vanatta says he knows who his hero is and that's why he proudly wears Peyton Manning's Number 18 jersey.
"It's not too big for you....yeah a little bit."
Despite the pride, Konor is learning that his "Manning Mania" won't be welcomed inside his third grade classroom.
Konor Vanatta says, "they told me I couldn't wear 18 anymore because its a gang number and I had to take it off."
You heard him right, according to Weld County School District Six – the number 18 is considered to be part of gang culture – and is effectively banned inside the classroom.
To be clear, the school doesn't ban all jerseys, the number 61 worked in the classroom today but Conor's mom says if 61 is good enough why not the number 18.
Pam Vanatta adds, "I'm pretty upset the schools have come down to this and I think they need to start paying attention the education the children are getting rather than then what they're wearing"
To get answers – we went to school district headquarters where officials say the ban on the number 18 has been around for years and has nothing to do with peyton manning.
Roger Fiedler, Spokesman for the district says, "we really do discourage and take a strong stance on any sort of clothing and display of gang affiliated and signage."
The number 18 is one of a handful the district says can be associated with gang violence and is banned altogether.
"We're broncos fans ourselves, its nothing to do with that its just wanting to set a consistent solid, example."