Reporting Andrea Lucia
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RED OAK (CBSDFW.COM) – Dressed head to toe in pink, 17 year old Dustin Drake showed up to class Friday, ready for Red Oak High School‘s annual ‘Pink Out,’ a day meant to promote cancer awareness.
“I had pink shoes, pink socks, pink tights… I had a tutu… big glasses. Everything was just pink,” he said.
Drake lost his mother to breast cancer last year, and he’s been actively involved in raising money for research. “It’s close to my heart, the way I feel about it,” he said.
His outfit Friday, though, went a little too far for school administrators, who pulled him out of class and called his father. “They said he needed to come home,” said Dustin’s father, Ben Drake.
“Students and staff were given the option to elect to wear jeans and a pink t-shirt,” read a statement by the Red Oak High School.
Dustin’s outfit violated that dress code, a spokesperson told CBS 11.
“My reaction was a little of disgust toward the school district that they would have a Pink Out and then send people home that were above their standard,” said Ben Drake.
Last year’s Pink Out fell just three days before Dustin’s mother died. His family says he wore almost exactly the same outfit and even made the yearbook.
“To me, it’s probably the last thing she saw,” said Dustin.
The school district didn’t voice concerns that year.
Dustin knows the pink tights and tutu are all a bit silly, but it had the power to lift his mother’s spirit.
As the anniversary of her death passes, it helps lift his. “Battling cancer is all a mind game. You have to stay strong in your head to be strong in your body.”
Red Oak ISD officials say they are aware of how Dustin’s mother died, and that he wasn’t the only student sent home Friday for dress code violations. The district says the school gave parents the option of bringing appropriate clothes to school.
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