A 12-year-old honor student received a dress code violation at his Yuba County, California, school for wearing a shirt -- which he thought was patriotic -- from a Kohl's department store.
When Lori Carpenter asked her son, Dustin Cole, why his shirt was inside out, he told her it was because the stars were "gang related."
When you first see the shirt, it looks like a simple gray shirt with the California state animal, the grizzly bear, outlining the American flag.
A school official says the shirt falls between freedom of speech and a safety risk.
Assistant Superintendent at Marysville Joint Unified School District Ramiro Carreon tells CNN affiliate KTXL, "Our local gang task force, they identify colors, they identify designs, they identify all of the things that we should be aware of."
In this particular case, the school felt that the red star on the top right of the shirt is often associated with the Norteno gang.
School officials say Dustin complied with the principal's request to turn his shirt inside out, but his parents are still wondering if they took this a little too far.