MONTREAL – An 11-year-old girl from Montreal was outraged on Thursday when she was told by her principal that she was not allowed to wear her Ottawa Senators’ jersey to school.
It was the day of the kick-off for the first game in the Habs-Sens playoff series. Students were allowed to wear jerseys instead of their school uniforms – but only if they wore Montreal Canadiens’ jerseys.
Keila Penner, who attends Maple Grove Elementary School in Lachine, is not a Habs’ fan, and so she chose to wear her Sens’ jersey instead.
School authorities said that decision broke the rules.
“She pulled me out of class, telling me it was only a Habs’ jersey day,” Keila said.
She was asked to change her shirt. She could either wear her school uniform or a Canadiens’ jersey that the gym teacher kindly offered.
Her response? “I told her, I’m not taking off my shirt.”
She asked the school to call her father, who expressed shock.
“My daughter likes the Sens and she should be allowed to express that as much as any other students,” Keila’s father said.
A spokesperson at the Lester B. Pearson School Board told Global News that authorities asked the student to remove her Sens’ shirt because they were acting in the best interests of the child.
Keila’s loyalty to her team got noticed by the Ottawa Senators and she was invited by owner, Eugene Melnyk, to watch game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens from his private suite. The family was picked up from their home on the West Island and driven to the game in a limousine.
Watch an extended interview with the student and her family here
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