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In a story that will no doubt send shivers down the spine of any child of the internet, a schoolgirl in the US state of North Carolina has been banned from wearing a necklace that had the words “Blood Vials” on it.
Alexandrite Dannenberg was just 14 years old when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a degenerative neurological condition that causes numbness and weakness in the legs and arms.
Her parents decided to keep the necklace as a souvenir, saying it was her way of showing her support.
“She didn’t want to wear it as a symbol of weakness,” Dannenburg’s father, Brian Dannbaum, told the Washington Post.
“She was just trying to say, ‘It’s not going to hurt me,'” the Post reported.
Dannenberg’s mother, who was also a teacher, was told by her son’s school that the necklace could be considered offensive.
She told ABC News that she “felt like we were in a dark place”.
“She said she didn’t like the idea that I had to put up with it,” Danniemens mother, Christine Dannberg, told ABC.
“I think we just didn’t understand it,” she said.
“I was in shock, and I thought it was a joke, and that we were all going to die.”
Dannenburg was banned from school for two weeks in February.
“If you want to use something as a sign of your respect for somebody else, you have to show it’s not disrespectful,” a school resource officer told her mother, according to ABC News.
When her mother went to the police, the school was unable to find a way to get her back.
After the ban, Dannettes mother decided to create a petition that asked for her daughter’s right to wear the necklace.
She said it had taken more than two months for the school to issue a statement to the public, but the school told ABC that the letterhead was made by a local company and not by the school itself.
“The school did not make the necklace, and they did not authorize it to be on school property,” the school said in a statement.
“We are in the process of working with the local school district to make the letter the symbol of respect and respectability in their classrooms.”
But in her petition, Danniemanns mother said she still did not know how she could wear the bracelet without feeling like a “fool”.
“My children are not stupid, and their parents are not fools,” DANNENEGANS mother told ABC, “and they deserve the right to choose for themselves.”
“We don’t know how to get around the problem,” she told ABC when asked if the necklace had any value to her children.
“They are so young, and yet they have been in so much pain,” she added.
The school has since decided to remove the necklace from its website.
“It is our sincere hope that it will be a catalyst for positive change for those who suffer from this illness,” a spokesperson for the North Carolina Board of Education said in an email.