It’s TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program – i.e. standardized testing) week, and that means the special area teachers (of which I am one) handle recess duty each day in order to give the classroom teachers a much needed break and planning period.  There were three recess sessions, and I helped supervise the one for the second and third graders.

Today was a stormy day, weather-wise, and that meant recess was in the gym rather than on the playground.  It wasn’t bad.  There were games, drawing paper, crayons and markers, large sheets of paper for murals and a video.  Some children sat with friends and chatted.  There were six classes of children in the gym - it was loud but organized.

As I walked around the gym watching the children as they played and stopping to chat occasionally, I started noticing t-shirt slogans – not the typical sports or restaurant shirts, but the ones that “make a statement.”  I swiped a sheet of the drawing paper and a marker and started copying them.  Here’s a sampling:

Warning!  Attitude Out of Control!

For Sale:  Parents – Buy 1, Get 1 Free

Tough Enough to Wear Pink (on a third grade boy in a bright pink shirt)


Wanted:  Parents who let me shop as often as I want - Never ask me to get off the phone - and Always give me money for the mall!

Thankfully there were no rude or off-color slogans on any of the shirts.  However,these children were all in the 7 – 9 age range which means their parents were almost certainly the ones who purchased the shirts for them.  It gives one pause, doesn’t it?

NOTE: added Friday, 4/21/06 – Today was another stormy day – another recess in the gym.  The children were decidedly more “restless” the second day of inside recess.  More t-shirt messages.  Here are today’s”

Blame my sister


I’m a ‘lil Redneck

(front) Angelic Outside  (back) Devilish Inside


Future Hall of Famer

School Computers are fun!  (Hmmm — so funny/dorky I had to include it)

Yeah yeah!  I know I’m a Princess

Then there was the assortment of Gap, Bugle Boy, XBox, Spiderman, school shirts and teams shirts. 

The pièce de résistance for the day was when a third grader came up to me to tell me his throat was hurting and declared:

“It hurts when I swallow my spit.”

My day was complete.

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One Response to “A Totally Un-Scientific and Irrelevant Study of Second and Third Graders’ T-Shirt Slogans”

  1. Joan Says:

    Absolutely! The fact that rude, insolent, arrogant, or “attitudinal” teeshirts sell tells us a lot about the so-called adults around us. What adults think when they buy them and what kids absorb about society from their popularity are two values residing worlds apart.

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