A redshirt kindergartener who risked everything to save a classmate has become a hero after her father told her she had the potential to be a better person.
Amber Bowerman was 13 when she became a redshirt at a New Jersey elementary school and said she wanted to learn how to read and write.
Bowerman said she was eager to join the team and would be ready to go after the end of kindergarten.
But when she arrived at her new school in February she was taken aback by the redshirts dress code.
She said some teachers didn’t want to see her redshorts and even told her not to wear them.
“It was very weird to be in there,” she said.
“I had never heard of redshirttakers, so it was a little bit weird for me to go to the redshirt school and to see all the things they were supposed to wear,” she told ABC News.
Bowers mom said she took the dress code issue seriously and tried to make her son feel comfortable.
“We were not allowed to take our shirts off and to show our arms to our classmates and the teachers, and we were also told to not have any of our shoes on,” Bowers mom, Amy Bower, told ABC.
“If you are really confident in yourself and you don’t wear shoes, then just wear a red shirt and a red sweater, and you can be yourself.”
Bower said that after some parents complained to the school about the redshirts dress code, Bowers teacher started telling them not to be upset.
“That was my first impression,” Bower said.
“I just thought, well, it’s my choice.”
Bowers dad said that when the school came to a point where they were not enforcing the dress codes, Bower decided to get a redshoulder to go with her dress.
“They gave me permission, and I felt so comfortable and safe, and then I got a little emotional and felt like I had to do something,” Bitterman said.
Her dad said she told him she was going to wear her redshirt, even though he didn’t know why.
“She told me she felt she needed to protect me, and that was the first time I had ever heard that,” Broughman said of her parents.
“At the time I didn’t understand how people could feel that way, and it’s very important for parents to be understanding and respectful to the children, but at the same time you have to have a clear idea of what’s appropriate and what isn’t.”‘
I’m not going to give up, I’m going to push back and I’m not giving up’Bower and her mom are proud of her and said their story is helping raise awareness about redshIRTing.
“Our goal is to encourage parents to redshirt their kids and let them be themselves, and hopefully that will give them more confidence,” Boughman said, adding that redshirinks should be allowed to wear dresses, skirts, gloves, jewelry and makeup.
“But we also know that we need to encourage teachers and the community to be open and listen to children and let kids express themselves,” she added.
Broughman added that she hopes the RedShirts can continue educating children and parents, especially parents who are not comfortable wearing redshirts.
“My hope is that they are able to teach kids that redshirting is okay and that parents should be able to take a chance and redshirt,” she explained.