Emma got in trouble at school :)

Oh dear. The word is spreading so I might as well tell the story here too.

This past week most schools in the area celebrate Kansas week in honor of the birth of the state.

The kids learn about the good ‘ole Sunflower State. They spent time learning about the state symbols such as….

The official state animal: the buffalo

Image from netstate.com

The official state flower: the sunflower

Image from netstate.com

The official state tree: the cottonwood tree

Image from netstate.com

The official state bird: the western meadowlark

Image from netstate.com

And the Jayhawk. The official state…nothing.

Image from University of Kansas

Thursday afternoon, I am waiting outside the school with Kate. Kids come running out of the doors. They all run up to me, all trying to tell me something…

Emma’s mom! Emma’s mom! Emma is crying! She’s in trouble! 

Wait, kids! What happened? I look up. Emma is being escorted out by her teacher. Emma is in a complete meltdown. Her teacher is struggling to hold Emma’s hand while carrying her backpack, binder, coat and a piece of paper.

Emma wouldn’t color a jayhawk!

BAAAHAHAHAHAHA. I could not help but laugh. A couple moms near me chuckled.

Emma’s teacher made it to me, angry.

Emma would not color this Jayhawk today with the rest of her class. She told me she would not color it. She told me she does not like KU and her family likes K-State. She asked me for a K-State picture instead but I told her this was her only option. She took the paper, crumpled it up and threw in the trash can. I asked her to get it out of the trash can and she told me no then refused to speak to me the rest of the day. I told her I would have to have a chat with you about this and she will need to color this tomorrow during recess.

I am trying not to laugh. I have my hands over my mouth, trying to hide my smile that I can’t get off my face. I’m sure her teacher was not happy with my reaction.

I told Emma this is not about the schools, it’s just about the state of Kansas. This does not mean she has to like KU and she can throw it in the trash when she gets home. She told me she wouldn’t bring a Jayhawk in her house.

I took Emma home, crying. I thought about this on the walk home. I got mad. This little Jayhawk the kids had to color has everything to do with KU. Even if you argue about the historical significance of the Jayhawkers (which was a very bloody and violent time in Kansas. Nothing a kindergartener needs to know) there is no reason to color KU’s mascot blue, red and yellow. This little Jayhawk the class had to color has everything to do with the University. The teachers should get rid of it entirely or give the kids an option to color one major colleges in the state.

I called Scott and told him this. He found this hilarious. He hung up with me only to make a few calls to pass the story along.

I was left with the dilemma on what to tell Emma. I ended up telling her that Scott and I were not mad at her. She would not receive a punishment from us. We were actually proud she fought for her school and did not back down. BUT, she could have handled herself a little differently with her teacher. She did not need to cause a scene by destroying the Jayhawk page. She did not need to have a meltdown and refuse to carry any of her belongings outside.

I asked if she would please color the jayhawk, just for her teacher, and be done with it.


Emma, you need to color this thing. The teacher might have to send you to the principal’s office.

I don’t care. I’m not coloring it.

Hmmm…Ok. What if I make you a deal. What if I print out a Powercat and you color it purple, grey and white. Then write an apology to your teacher because you were rude. Will you agree to that?

(pouts) Fine.

Ok, but you need to color that Jayhawk for your teacher.

(silent, exhales) Fine.

You will?

Yes. But I don’t like it. And I’m wearing a K-State shirt tomorrow.

Fine. You don’t have to like it. Just do it and I want you to tell your teacher you’re sorry as well.

The next day was the “Kansas Party” – which I volunteered to help with. The other moms told me they heard what happened via their own children. They all thought it was funny. One mom gave Emma a high-give for sticking up for her school. One mom told me her daughter told her Emma tried to use purple crayons but the teacher would not let her. Another mom told me her own daughter was scared to throw away her Jayhawk when she got home because she thought she would get in trouble too. I can only assume Emma caused quite the scene the day before.

I asked her teacher if Emma colored the Jayhawk. She did. And she got the apology note.

After the party, I drove Emma home. I asked her if the Jayhawk was in her backpack.

Yes. Get it out and put it in the trash can.

Ok. Emma, what is this Jayhawk coloring book?

She wanted me to color that today too. I told her no. 

Did the rest of the class color it?

Yes. But I would not color two jayhawks.

What did your teacher say to that?


I guess I know Emma will not back down for something she believes in. Her teenage years will be interesting. Our families have found this story hilarious. She got phone calls all night from her Papas telling her how proud they were of her. Scott posted this story on Gopowercat.com. He has over 1,800 views and nearly 40 or so comments. Emma has won over Wildcat Nation. It’s still being read and commented on two days later. Some of my favorite comments:

What a little Stallion she is! Tell her she has Wildcat Nation pulling for her.

Ah, strong in that one is the EMAW.

What a great Wildcat family! There should be a plaque or some kind of citation for this kind of valor, as demonstated by your offspring.

A great reason to get your first trip to the principals office. She’ll remember that for the rest of her life.

Awesome story. Thanks for sharing. Your daughter’s EMAW is strong.

Some people had similar stories with their own children or grandchildren. I have heard most teachers will let it slide if the child does not want to color a Jayhawk. Actually, most teachers give an option KU or K-State. I hate to see Emma in trouble and not listening to authority but then again she fought for the only thing she knows is right in our household.

I can’t really blame her for that.


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327 thoughts on “Emma got in trouble at school :)

  1. siouxxsie says:

    That tells me her home/family is a stronger influence on her than her school/teacher/classmates & that speaks fathoms! Good on all of you! When it comes to standing up for what you believe in, that girl is impressive beyond words & I am proud of her!


  2. I love this story! Although I can’t say I’d be as apologetic as you. I definitely would not have made my child color the jayhawk, and in fact would have gone to the principal’s office myself to tell them how ridiculous the assignment even was! Although I’d like to think I’d make her apologize for the handling of the situation, but I can’t make any promises….


    • mag says:

      Maybe this is a Kansas thing, where having absurd priorities is awesome, but the fact that you have indoctrinated your childr to care so passionately about rivalry between two universities is hard for a rational person to comprehend. The teacher shouldn’t have given the assignment, as coloring in a university mascot is nothing but filler work for her students and has no educational value, but your daughter was a brat to cause so much trouble. Why would you be proud of your child for proving she can get really riled up over nothing? I would be so embarrassed if I were her parent. What is wrong with her, but more importantly, what is wrong with you? Take your time and passion and apply it to something that matters.


      • TheDude says:

        She is a KID! At least she already knows, at this age, how to fight for what you believe in. I would be embarrassed of being your parent -the parent of someone who can only be negative and focus on what is wrong about a situation.


  3. Kim says:

    My husband just sent me this link. I love it! My 8 year old read it to me and we talked about what to do in this situation. Emma is a great Wildcat fan and we are proud of her. My husband will be at the game, I will be at home with the kids, but we will all be cheering together for Emma!


  4. MC says:

    I posted on the message board when I read your husband’s post but wanted to say how proud I am of your daughter. I don’t know why the school system insists on calling that mythical bird a state symbol, it is nothing of the kind and this needs to be changed. Maybe this is the start of that happening.


  5. I love it! We raised that daughter and, yes, her teen years were frightening, but she’s now a sophomore at KSU and as determined as ever. Tell Emma she makes the Wildcat Nation proud. And perhaps the teacher will research her Kansas history a bit more before she tries that activity again.


  6. This post was shared on BringOnTheCats.com…BRAVO!!!

    While I teach my kids to respect authority, what Emma did was awesome! Frankly, the teacher should be hauled in to the principal’s office for imposing such filth on her students. We had to re-teach our kids colors when they went to school, they would only say “Purple, Go Cats!” for the color purple. True story. We blamed “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” but the teacher knew.

    You handled it wonderfully!


  7. Kathy Krier says:

    Emma is my new-favorite little “Wildcat”!!!! We raised three of those children…WIldcats from birth, who have all graduated from KSU!!! We will be at the game Monday, and can’t wait to give our little Wildcat our thanks!!! Great parenting!!!


  8. Ugh! This story makes me so mad! I never caught the KU/KSU bug, but the forced subordination breaks my heart. The worst thing is that the teacher wouldn’t let her use a purple crayon. My husband and I decided that if this happened to our kid (on any level) we would pull him out of the class because it says even more about the teacher’s education philosophy than her alma matter. Here’s a song that speaks to this very thing. Flowers are Red by Harry Chapin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeJJOjb7fj4&feature=youtube_gdata_player


  9. Jeremy says:

    I also saw this on BringOnTheCats. Hilarious! I remember having to do something similar when I was in elementary school. I’m sure my parent’s had to explain why the blueduck got all of the attention and Willie was also mentioned.

    A friend of mine posted a picture of his son holding the construction paper blueduck he had been forced to make at school in front of the fireplace where it was going to get the proper disposal.

    As others have said, the EMAW is very strong in Emma, and I wholeheartedly believe she will grow up to be a very fine and upstanding person. GO CATS!


  10. Kara Denton says:

    Love this story! According to my mother-in-law, my husband had a similar experience when he was in kindergarten. He came home crying because the teacher made him color a Jayhawk. Considering that some of his first words were “bad birdie” every time he saw a Jayhawk, I wasn’t too surprised.

    Emma, you’re a trooper. Stay strong. And, Go Cats!


  11. Jason Backburn says:

    We live in Lawrence (boo!), my son was 4 at the time and was given a Jayhawks to color at pre-school. When we arrived to pick him up, the entire classes Jayhawks were pinned all the way down the hall. Of course they mostly all looked the same, except my sons – his was the one colored in purple! Thanks for sharing your story. EMAW!


  12. Brooke says:

    I am a first grade teacher and teaching the Kansas symbols is a part of our curriculum. The only reason we teach about the Jayhawk is because if someone was born in Kansas they are called a Jayhawker . . . not a wildcat. I understand your daughters need to defend her college . . . but no matter what all students should be learning about the symbols. It isn’t a choice. Being a parent it is our responsibility to support the teacher and not get emotionally involved. I absolutely adore my students no matter who they support or favor.


    • j says:

      I’m sorry but the University of Kansas’s Jayhawk symbol is not a symbol of Kansas it is a symbol of the University of Kansas athletic department. I’m not sure any student should be learning about symbols of a private organization. I’m not sure how that fits into the Kansas curriculum of teaching the symbols of Kansas. The term Jayhawker was used for people in Kansas who fought against Kansas being a slave state. The term Jayhawker though became a term, over time, that referred to stealing, theft, and murderous behavior. If you want to teach children a symbol there are plenty of symbols that are more reflective of that time then a private organization’s logo. I concur that parents should be supportive of teachers and their efforts in the classrooms but teachers also need to teach accurate information and teaching children that the University of Kansas athletic department’s logo is a symbol of the state of Kansas is not accurate.


      • Brooke says:

        Refer to Jane’s comment . . . A jayhawk is the symbol for KU and a jayhawker is the term deemed by Kansas and the state for those people born in Kansas . . . Either way . . . at this point . . . Emma spoke her mind and who can blame her 🙂


    • Kansas Proud says:

      Kudos to Brooke. A Jayhawk is a symbol of Kansas and a short-hand symbol of a significant and important time in our wonderful state’s history. All Kansas are Jayhawkers/Free Staters and should be proud of that fact.


    • Karen says:

      I beg to differ. I was born in Kansas, but don’t dare call me a Jayhawker. I didn’t attend K-State, but as a history teacher and a parent I think that if a child does not want to color a Jayhawk, then give them an alternative. And teach history correctly, the jayhawkers and bushwackers caused great violence in Kansas leading to the nickname “Bleeding Kansas,” certainly not something to be celebrated for Kansas Day.


    • Emily says:

      Do you also only allow three color choices when the children are coloring the “Kansas symbol?” Seems fishy to me that the only colors allowed for this activity were the official colors for the University of Kansas…


    • Carolyn says:

      Seriously? I agree they should learn the state symbols. Support the teacher? Kids need to learn that adults are wrong sometimes. I had a teacher lock a child in a classroom. Some teachers do other (unmentionable) things to students. Kids need to learn to respectfully disagree with an adult. The parents job is to get emotionally involved – she is their child! I think the mom handled this very respectfully. The teacher was the one who blew this way out of proportion and could not admit she was wrong. Coloring the Jayhawk purple would have been a win-win. By the way – I graduated from KU.


    • KansasWildcat says:

      I had a similar situation when I was in Kindergarten over 35 years ago. My teacher told our class anyone born in the state of Kansas was a Jayhawker. I said, “Not me, I’m a Wildcat!” She thought it was funny and commented to that effect years later. While it is true at the time Kansans were called Jayhawkers and children should learn of our heritage, the Jayhawk especially in its present form represents the University not the state. If we are teaching our children the state symbols and that includes a Jayhawk, it should also include a WIldcat, a Shocker, etc.


    • Bob says:

      A person born in Kansas is a Jayhawker? You should read up on your history instead of mangling it.

      Jim Lane? Born in Indiana. Charles Jennison? Born in New York. Daniel Anthony? Born in Massachusetts. I’m sure most of the jayhawkers during the Civil War were not born in Kansas.


    • Douglas says:

      Im sorry but the term “jayhawk” was used to describe terrorists. Most “jayhawks” weren’t even from kansas, they were Northerns who flocked to kansas in an attempt to vote the state a anti-slave state. Teaching it in school is absolutely horrendous. Especially to kindergarteners. I have a masters in History. I can tell you there are several other organizations that are not terrorist affiliates that you could be teaching about.


    • Genevieve Wagner says:

      Another example of indoctrination. The child wasn’t allowed to color the symbol however she wanted, she was required to color it in athletic department colors. I DO support teachers when they are making rational decisions – this one was just plain ridiculous to have the teacher egging on a child to the point of such anger on both parts. Would she have been as upset if the child used a red crayon to color the sunflower?

      I personally don’t give a hoot about either team – this is just another clear example of a teacher asserting authority because she could – NOT because she had to. HUGE difference.


    • TL says:

      I was born in Kansas, and hell will freeze over before I will be referred to as a Jayhawk. Last I knew, people born in Kansas are called Kansans. I’m also a teacher, and if a student and/or parent has an objection to any part of the curriculum taught in my district, they’re entitled to an alternate assignment–not to support the teacher.


  13. Should of had her color the bird worth KSU colors. Sneak some people and grey crayons in and go to town. “Rebel inside rebel for life”-HammerFall, Swedish power metal


  14. Greg McGehee says:

    My wife works in a kindergarten class and has had to deal with the same issue. One boy was so upset that she finally said, “Why don’t you just color the jayhawk purple?” So he did.


  15. As an history professor, let me assure you that the cartoon character cross between a dodo and woody woodpecker has nothing to do with Kansas statehood. Even the war-profiteering jayhawks of the Civil War era are nothing of which to be proud. I would hope I could respond with as much loyalty, passion, and conviction as Emma did if placed in an equally intolerable situation. Well done, Emma! My blood runs purple too!


  16. The Great Natsby says:

    I just wanted to say, as a current KU grad student who LOVES the University of Kansas, that I also think that what this teacher did was very unfair. If this is really “Kansas week” then kids should have the option of coloring the mascots of any Kansas university! Sports rivalries aside, Kansas State is a wonderful school that anyone should be proud to attend, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense as to why these kindergartners weren’t given a Wildcat option. Also, only being allowed to color a Jayhawk red, blue and yellow? Talk about squashing creativity!


  17. Elaine Gaughan says:

    Way to go Emma….my granddaughter did the same, but didn’t get in trouble. The “bleep” not a symbol of Kansas, but of the school. The jayhawkers were terrible they ravaged the state. We obviously know where her teacher went to schoo!! EMAW. My granddaughters will be your classmates at K-State.


  18. My mom was a first grade teacher for about 15 years. Every year she had to teach the curriculum which included sharing the bit of history that included the Jayhawkers. While the cartoon from KU has absolutely NOTHING to do with the actual history bit, it was a lesson in the curriculum and that included coloring a Jayhawk. My mom also raised 4 kids who all went to KSU. She didn’t let the curriculum shape what activities she conducted in her classroom.

    Every year she taught the lesson. She even had the coloring sheets. BUT she allowed her students to choose between a Powercat and a Jayhawk because she also realized that the cartoon had nothing to do with the history!

    K-State Proud,

    Tera Rooney


  19. J says:

    Our kindergardener came home with her Kansas day stuff & my husband had told me about your daughter. I quickly flipped to the page I knew a jayhawk would be on (cause I remember coloring the dumb thing in school) & to my surprise beside the jayhawk was a Powercat. I was so happy to see it. Not sure why their were both but I know my husband would have had issues if there hadn’t been. Thanks for the funny story so proud she knows how to stand up for what she believes in. And my hubby said she will be fan of the game against ku. So flipping awesome!!!!


    • Scott says:

      Consider letting your teacher know that you appreciate giving her kids a choice. If they went out of their way to make the assignment better, then they would love to hear that it was noticed!

      I have to agree with most everyone else posting. The only thing that Emma did wrong was to crumple it up and throw it away. And even then, I am not sure that she felt she had any other choice. Forcing someone to color a non-official state symbol a certain way seems more like advertising in the schools than giving them an assignment.


  20. Maggie says:

    When I was in preschool, we were forced to color a Jayhawk for Kansas Day. I refused and also caused an ordeal at the school that resulted in my parents being asked to visit with the teachers. They thought it was pretty amusing and were proud of their “little Wildcat.”

    I graduated from K-State in December and am now a grad student here. Things haven’t changed much! So fun to hear of your little one headed down the same path! Go Cats!


  21. chris otto says:

    Congrats Emma,
    My Daughter had something a lot like this happen to her at school. First she would not let the teacher call her a Jayhawker for Kansas Day and she kept taking down a little jayhawk sign that the teacher put on the desks for KS Day. She told the teacher that our family are Wildcats and was brought to tears by the teacher calling her a jayhawker. We are lucky that her teacher did not push her to do more.


  22. I’m an Illinois native. I’ve never even been to Kansas, but because of some friends out that way I have a very strong understanding of Kansas State v. Kansas. We have a slightly similar (although less hostile) situation between Illinois State and U of I.

    Flexibility in education is important, as is encouraging creativity. There’s a difference between forcing an assignment for practical teaching and just…forcing a lesson. This teacher was doing the latter, bordering on indoctrination. That’s just wrong. I’m impressed with Emma’s fire! She’ll need that when she’s conquering this big, bold, beautiful, wide, scary world someday.

    Emma’s got fans in Illinois! Tell her to keep up the great work and to keep on sticking to her guns!


    • All I can say is this story is full of hate towards one school or the other. And no one deserves a pat on the back. The teacher was wrong to not allow any color to be used to color the project. But the little girl was wrong for not respecting her teacher. But the reason she didn’t was because you has been raised to hate a symbol of a school, by her parents. Thank god for my parents, my Dad graduated from KU and we had season tickets, but we lived in Manhattan and I graduated from there. Through out the years my Dad raised us to support every school in our state!! Whenever KU and KSU played we were free to choose whom we wanted to win, without any pressure. This world is full of so much hate, I am so proud of the parents I had. They raised us the right way, and without hate. People need to grow up and quit doing this to their children!!


  23. Brian Paulsen says:

    Only in would a KU alum require that a child color a Jayhawk for a State of Kansas exercise. Proves two points… 1. how poor the education is at KU, as they honestly believe the Jayhawk is the State Bird (really just an ugly, imaginary bird), and 2. shows how ridiculous adults can be when it comes to their colleges. Hope you’re proud of Emma. Would love my boys to do that, but they’d probably refuse to color in the MU Tiger, while happily coloring in the Jayhawk. I believe another reason a KU alum would present this assignment is that Crayons are a primary school supply at KU and this assignment is a level 300 course at their university. University is intentionally in lower case :-).


  24. R.D. Ambrose says:

    That teacher should be chastised. But Mother…what’s this “one of the two major colleges”?. There are no real Jayhawks in Kansas. And when was the last time you saw a real wildcat roaming around Riley County. But…every June and July…the State of Kansas is full of people who Shock a lot of Wheat…..


    • JM says:

      There are real wildcats roaming Riley County. They are pretty crafty and can be challenging to see. Living one the east coast I had to explain the Wichita State mascot a couple of times. I usually got a response of “Really?’ Actually, I like the Shocker. I like that it is so unique.


  25. Chris Esquibel says:

    Love your story. My friend sent me this story because I had one simimilar this year. They were trying to tell my 4 year-old the other week for Kansas Day that he was a Jayhawk and he told them that he was a Wildcat, they tried to explain it to him and told him that he was a Jayhawk since he was born in Kansas. He replied back “Thats fine because I was born in Iowa, so I am just a Wildcat!” Teachers all got a kick out and that it was hilarious. Tell Emma always be a Wildcat.


  26. Holly says:

    My husband is a K-State alum and I’m an OU alum so Football and Basketball seasons can get very interesting at our house, but there are three things we do agree on and that’s we don’t like KU, OSU or Texas. 🙂 Please tell Emma that a Sooner mommy and a K-State daddy are very proud of her. You guys sound like good involved and reasonable parents and are raising a great little girl. That is something that’s getting harder and harder to find.


  27. Dusty says:

    This has again popped up on my Facebook… and so glad to see the responses. Good Job Emma, and good parenting to explain the fault and how to address it in the future to her.. great call.
    I am one of those parents that “raises a stink” about a lot of the subjective, non-beneficial teaching and grading practices in school(that many teachers don’t even want to support, but are forced to due to archaic curriculum and instructor evaluation practices)… and definitely recall my son coming home from the day when he had to color the “Yucky Bird”. (his actually had the KU letter on it, sigh)
    We have had that same discussion about how to address things you don’t agree with the teacher on, and you set a supportive tone with Emma to question a flawed system, but in a respectful and non-disruptive manner… Kudos to great parenting and Emma


  28. Beth says:

    I remember coloring jayhawks when I was in elementary school 20-some years ago, and that it was because Kansas is the jayhawk state and such. But I don’t recall coloring jayhawks that were quite so obviously KU jayhawks.


  29. Beth H says:

    I had a similar experience this year with my oldest who is in kindergarten. When he was presented with a jayhawk to color during Kansas week he very seriously told his teacher “My mom and dad aren’t going to like that.” I had already told him that he should go ahead and color it for his teacher but he didn’t have to like it. His teacher even wrote on the top of the page “Great Job! Sorry about the jayhawk.”
    I remember being in the early years of school around 20 years ago and being heartbroken at the fact that I was considered a “Jayhawker” because I was born in Kansas. The purple pride runs deep here, my kids 6, 4, 3 yrs all know the KSU fight song and Alma Mater! Go State!


  30. Vivian says:

    I’m a K-State fan so love this story for that reason, but there’s another underlying thing that no one has mentioned. Do you want your child to be turned into someone who does what she’s ordered? Marching in lock-step with all the other little robots? We had a similar situation when my daughter was in kindergarten and I told the teacher–who said my child had to learn to do what everyone else did–that if I started telling her that in kindergarten, what did I tell her in high school when she WANTED to be and do exactly what everyone else did. She really didn’t have an answer. And the schools are getting downright scary in their expectations of molding children into what THEY want them to be. I’m impressed with the way you handled it, (the apology) but I sure would have sent a Wildcat to school with her the next day (and some purple crayons) and told the teacher that surely, she wouldn’t mind if Emma colored this picture rather than that one. It would have made her seem awfully small if she wouldn’t allow it.


    • B says:

      I would want my child to be respectful of his/her elders and teachers. Yes, they are entitled to their own opinions and viewpoints, but to be defiant and disrespectful is another thing (regardless of age).


  31. nikki says:

    Found this story interesting. While I am a huge KU fan, I have to respect this little girls decision. It actually upsets me to know that the teacher was taking her creativity away by limiting the color options to red,blue and yellow. I love my jayhawks dearly, but good job Emma and I think the parents handles this well!


  32. Thomas Annis says:

    Emma, it would make me a Proud Wildcat to shake your hand!

    You Go Girl! EMAW FOREVER. And remember this… You always cheer for 2 teams. K-State and whoever is playing ku.


  33. Bryce says:

    You may all think this is a classic joke, but coming from a K-State fan myself… THIS IS A DISGRACE!!! What does this tell us about our kids and having respect for our elders AND especially our teachers? These parents need to teach their kids and lesson and to have respect for others. Might I add that the Jayhawk is a symbol for those who fought against Border Ruffians during the Bleeding Kansas Era. They were ANTI- SLAVERY people who helped keep slavery out of our state. It is not just a symbol of the University of Kansas. Learn your historical facts and teach your kids to have some damn respects these days. Too often do I see kids not respecting their elders and parents need to be the role model for that. I hope this child and their parents get their heads on straight and look at the facts. This isn’t about a school rivalry, its about teaching our kids qualities that are needed for the future…. Hope you all don’t have kids like this one, because I wouldn’t be a proud parent to see my kid disrespect a teacher like this. And if my kid were to do something like this, I would make them apologize and then complete the assignment as she should have.

    Grow up people.


  34. B says:

    I see both sides as well, but I believe that disrespecting your elders/teachers is a lot worse than “throwing away a jayhawk picture” that she simply had to color.


  35. Sharlotte Hughes says:

    Sounds to me like this teacher is a control freak. I imagine that she is a “new” teacher and wants to force the students to follow her instructions. I hope that as she learns and grows in her “teaching skills” that she will realize that you can lead children much easier than you can push them.

    As her mom I hope that you keep an eye on future tension between the teacher and your daughter to head off any negative attitudes on the teacher’s part toward you daughter. I’ve seen it happen. Once a teacher dislikes a child for something just such as this, the rest of the year can be torment for the child.


  36. Deb says:

    After teaching 30 years and many of those years teaching about Kansas for Kansas Day, I found myself always having to explain this. There was never a power cat far away for the kids to color too. I admire that little one and her spunk. EMAW


  37. First I want to say that I am a K-State graduate (who grew up in Kansas) that now lives outside the state of Kansas, so my kids will never get to learn about Kansas history or get to have Kansas week. Also, this story makes all of us Kansans (that live outside the state of Kansas) very proud!!

    I am so glad that Emma stood up for herself and for all kids. My little cousins also had to color the fake bird and they made sure that it was purple. I think as a parent you handled it perfectly. I don’t think I could have kept a straight face or kept from laughing at the teacher. As a teacher myself, I couldn’t imagine forcing a kid to color a jayhawk and not give them the option to color the Wildcat as well. Way to stand up for yourself Emma!! Wildcat Nation is behind you 150%!! EMAW!!!!

    Amarillo, TX


  38. Jamie Anderson says:

    Oh my goodness! I ran across this post on FB and I am absolutely infuriated by that teacher!!! Not from a wildcat standpoint (but I am a k-stater!) but from a kindergarten teacher’s standpoint. I teach K and I would NEVER force my children to do something like that!!!! Pick your battles!!! Your darling and strong little Emma deserves better from her teacher. Way to go Emma!


  39. Jane Dickens says:

    In a little book entitled, The Jayhawker Book, A Book of Kansas for Little Kansans, first printed in 1935: “The people who are born in Kansas are Jayhawkers. The people who live in Kansas are called Kansans.” The author was Emma Humble, Associate Professor of Education at Kansas State Teacher’s College, Emporia, KS. The Jayhawker bird is red, yellow, and blue,

    From Wikipedia, “Over time, proud of their state’s contributions to the end of slavery and the preservation of the Union, Kansans embraced the “Jayhawker” term. The term came to be applied to people or items related to Kansas, similar to the terms “Hoosier” for Indiana, “Sooner” for Oklahoma, “Tar Heel” for North Carolina, and “Buckeye” for Ohio.

    KU fans are Jayhawks, not Jayhawkers. The term, Jayhawker, was around before KU sports. In my classroom, if I have a child so closed-minded that they cannot deal with being dubbed a Jayhawker because they were born in Kansas, we also do a Wildcat. But I notice that this only afflcts Wildcat fans. We’ve never had to do a hornet or any other mascot, which is as it should be for all.

    What would education be like if every 5 year old determined what they would or would not do regardless of the teacher’s instructions? Then ask yourself what education would be like if every 14 or 15 year old determined what they would or would not do regardless of the teacher’s instructions.


  40. Brooke says:

    Thank you Jane . . . I read this exact book in my classroom. I too attended ESU and my parents attended KU . . . I grew up a Jayhawk . . . But, there is never reference for the Hornets. Great point 🙂


    • amy says:

      This whole issue is making me shake my head a bit. I’ve taught 1st grade for 13 years and have always taught my students that people who were born in Kansas are called Jayhawkers. (We read the same book Jane mentioned.) But I also follow that with “just because you are a jayhawker doesn’t mean you cheer for KU! I am a jayhawker, because I was born in Kansas… but I cheer for K-State.” I’ve had several devout KSU fans in my classes through the years and it has never been an issue. I definitely think the teacher could have handled it differently, but I also think it was blown out of proportion a bit.

      Also… on the day we celebrate Kansas Day, my students are encouraged to wear ANY Kansas team shirt (Emporia, WSU, Butler, Chiefs, etc.) It doesn’t all have to come down to KU/KSU.


  41. Brooke says:

    In the classroom if a child refuses to do something an alternative can always be provided . . . A coloring sheet doesn’t really teach anything anyways . . . Why not make a symbol book about colleges in KS . . . This could be a great idea for next year!


  42. Juls says:

    She reminds me of a younger me. I did the same thing when I was in first grade, we had to make a Jayhawk and I couldn’t stand it. On the back I had written all kinds of KSU things and how they were better. I gave it to my parents friends who were Jayhawk friends. Wasn’t a happy camper that’s for sure.

    And if she is anything like me (I am 16 now) then she will have quite the teenage years! Good luck and GO EMMA!


  43. TCS says:

    It’s probably been stated here before, but while the Jayhawk *is* a state symbol, the current iteration is purely a product AND registered trademark of the University of Kansas, making it highly inappropriate to essentially indoctrinate young Kansans by coloring it in KU colors. Offering a Powercat is not a solution; rather, not offering college emblems during Kansas studies at all would be the best option, unless you have the kids learn ALL of our Regents Universities’ mascots. Stay strong, Emma, and enjoy your standing O on Big Monday!


  44. Kate says:

    I’m very proud of your little Emma. I like her got in trouble in high school for correcting my Nebraska native Kansas history teacher when he tried to tell a group of Sw Kansas kids farm kids that they received more rain every year than eastern Kansas I’m all for respecting adults but not at the expense of education. That teacher needs to realize the difference between a jawhawker and the KU jawhawk and this coming from a person who is a fan of neither and graduated from another regent school in Kansas that gets no recognition in kansas day


  45. Roger says:

    To Brooke the 1st grade teacher: you and Emma’s teacher need to take a class on Kansas History. You’d find that “Jayhawkers” weren’t the nicest bunch. In fact, if you want kids to color a picture of Jayhawkers it would be a bloody mess! Don’t believe the oldtime “Kansas History” book the schools have with the oldtime Jayhawk on the cover. It probably was published by someone at the University of Kansas. Coloring a Kansas Athletics Jayhawk logo has no place the State of Kansas curriculum.


  46. MBLover says:

    As a member of the Pride of Wildcatland Marching Band, I am confident to say that if you brought her by the band, Dr. Tracz and the band would play her a special round of Wabash. We love nothing more than somebody who bleeds purple. Before every football game the band, cheerleaders and Classy Cats are down by Bramlage Tunnel, eating pizza. Bring her down and I promise she will have roughly 400 really awesome new friends.


    • Kim says:

      LOVE the Pride of Wildcatland Marching Band! You are all awesome! I was in my highschool marching band and always have regreted not having tried out for my alma mater, UGA.


  47. Amy says:

    Bah hahahahaha! EMAW! As a 1st grade teacher I cringe whenever I have to talk about the “Jayhawk”. For two reasons: 1. It refers to “Bloody Kansas” and 2. It is a symbol of KU.
    I really don’t like having to ask the students to color the “bad bird” (as it’s known by my 3 kids!). Oftentimes it just seems like we run out of time to color that page. Darn it! 😉

    Way to go Emma! I hope my Emma is just a strong-willed when she gets older!


  48. Douglas says:

    I cannot believe they would give the kids an option between the kansas jayhawk and The Power cat. That’s like apples and oranges. they should have just gave them a picture of the jayhawk and an Al Qaeda logo so they can choose. Literally the same thing and more relevant of an option than the Power cat. Of course, that’s if the teacher really wants to enforce this lesson on terrorism.


    • Oh, come on, Douglas! I took a class about the psychology of Terrorism and the lesson that sticks out to me the most was, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s Freedom Fighter.” Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist in his time and is now a hero, and there are many other examples. Christopher Columbus perpetrated and set into motion so many unthinkable things and yet he has a national holiday. History often forgets the means and focuses on the end, and the Jayhawkers helped Kansas to end slavery. That is why they are in the history books. There are schools in the middle east that teach and glorify Al Qaeda I’m sure, because many people believe in the cause. Of course this is horrifying to us! This really isn’t the point, though. The point is that the teacher was bested by a kindergartner in both passion and will!


  49. Kathryn says:

    what is wrong with this mother? This is why this country is going down, her daughter has more guts than she does. That mother should have stood up for her daughter and told the teacher to just skip out on the whole color a university mascot all together. Just because you live in Kansas in Kindergarden does not mean you have to go or like a Kansas school. That goes for any state. This is crazy. If the teacher refused then take it up with the principal or the school board. So sad people just let others walk all over them and force their views down everyone’s throats. If all of America would just stand up for what they believe in and not back down things will get done. No wonder why our school system sucks so bad. You have every right to tell your kid’s teachers NO or correct them or discuss anything with them. Remember they are paid by YOU. So they work for YOU. You are the dominate one NOT THEM!


  50. This reminds me of school when I was younger. The Tennessee state song is “Rocky Top”, which is also the fight song for UT. My parents told me to tell my music teachers that it was against my religion to sing the song!!!


  51. Deb says:

    This reminds me of when my youngest daughter (now in her 30s and a 2008 KU Veterinarian grad) told the prinicipal she did not write the four letter word on the chalk board…one of her classmates did (the son of the librarian)!
    Indignantly she claimed, “I didn’t write it! If I had it would have been spelled RIGHT! It has a U in it not an O!”
    With her blond ponytail swinging, shoulders squared she walked out the door of the principal’s office when excused. The principal and I couldn’t wait for her to get her little 8 year old self down the hall before we both burst out laughing to the chagrin of the reporting teacher!
    NO I have no idea where she learned to spell the F word but she was correct…SHE WOULD HAVE SPELLED IT RIGHT!


  52. Evan says:

    I can’t get over this story. Truly priceless. I think she needs to be honored at halftime during a KState game. Every KStater needs to read this! GO EMMA!


  53. berford says:

    Well, I for one find it difficult to find much humor in this. As you say, Jayhawkers play prominently in Kansas’ history. Jayhawks have absolutely NOTHING to do with it. It’s KU’s play at tagging onto the coattails of the term “Jayhawker.” So, why does a mythicl mascot for the flaw on the Kaw have anything more to do with Kansas than a Wildcat, or a WheatShocker for that matter? Pure prejudice. Three BIG cheers for Emma!

    I have a granddaughter in school in Olathe. Every year they have a day when they can wear their KU apparel… no such day for K-State. I would not tolerate that. That is ridiculous!


  54. Lisa says:

    From two graduates of Wildcat Nation, Great job Emma! I think a compromise of a purple Jayhawk would have been enough, the teacher needs to learn to compromise.


  55. Sarah says:

    How old is this teacher? Has anyone enlightened her to the absence of coloring pages in the KSDE kindergarten standards? Nice to know that your taxes are paying an “educator” to get into a power struggle with a kindergartner over a coloring page.
    I teach preschool and coloring pages are very taboo as we recognize the uselessness of them. If a kid wants to color a picture, great, but it would never be an assignment passed as an educational activity.
    As a side note, I do not have children yet, but my future children will be instructed to draw a big ‘ole turd over any Kansas Jayhawk coloring pages. Amen.


  56. undivided says:

    This whole story is ridiculous! My husband and I are both from Kansas. I attended KU and he K-State. We are not a divided household. We love both schools and wish them well — they are both excellent schools, and offer different areas of expertise at an affordable price. It is ridiculous that first Emma’s parents have so indoctrinated a 5 year old that she is refusing to color a picture, when she doesn’t understand the teacher’s reasoning. And second, that Kansas is teaching that the Jayhawk is a symbol for the Free State. It is not. This is a classic example of trying to take something cute and applying meaning that doesn’t exist. This shows lack of thought on so many levels. If I were Emma’s parent, there is no way I would have made her color the picture. I would have tried to understand the teacher’s associated ‘message’, researched it, made copies of what Jayhawkers were and printed them out, and then politely phoned the principal for an appointment, followed by a call to the Superintendent of the schools. Please Kansas teachers, stop the madness and do not give children Jayhawks to color unless you are at a Final 4 party. And Kansas parents, stop this K-State/KU madness. Encourage your child to attend the school that is going to best educate them towards their career goals, and know the difference — I don’t know anyone who earns a living from being a team fan! Really!


  57. Ray Brunker says:

    The same thing happened to our son in an Olathe school. His teacher asked him to color a Jayhawk and he just took a black crayon and laid it sideways and drew a big circle around it and then a single line down the middle like a street sign. He was put in time out for that. He came home and told us so within a few days they were having a parent/teacher meeting and my wife and I asked her why they were coloring Jayhawks, after all there were a lot of kids who supported KSU and a fair amount in the school who were Iowa State fans who’s families had moved to the KC area.

    Her comment was they were doing it because it was the “state bird of Kansas” This is a first grade teacher with a teaching degree and doesn’t even know what the state bird of Kansas is. My wife and I were so dumbfounded that we were speech less.


  58. Carl Frahme says:

    I teach at KU and no one should be forced to color a Jayhawk if he or she does not want to. The Jayhawk does not represent Kansas but only the University of Kansas. Frankly, in this situation, any student should be able to color the mascot of any university or college in Kansas. That will allow all students to learn about education opportunities in the state for future reference.


  59. Dhera Hoffman says:

    My daughter, who is now 25, as a 3rd grader refused to draw a jayhawk in art class for Kansas Day. She said, ” I am not a jayhawk,I am a Wildcat.” She was sent to the principals office. We had a very wise principal..from then on, all children could draw ANY KANSAS SYMBOL THAT THEY WANTED, a sunflower, tornado, etc.. your school handled this very badly. I would have a talk with your principal about this & suggest a similar change. Overland Park,KS.


  60. I can totally see my daughter doing that if she were in that class and she is only 3 right now! Proud of her and disappointed in a teacher that had to fight with a 5 year old over it, I mean really that isn’t a cornerstone to her education to color as we like to refer to it as ” the ugly bird.” Go Emma!


  61. Krisi Goodman says:

    I read your story on facebook after it was posted by the MU Zou Crew! I am a die hard MU fan, born and raised in Missouri and therefore can not stand that fictional bird or anything it represents! However, reading your story one quickly realizes that this was about more than a simple coloring page. This was about someone very small confronting someone much bigger and more powerful without fear because she believed she was right. The fact that your kindergartner refused to compromise her beliefs, regardless of the consequences speaks volumes about this little girl’s character, integrity and spirit!

    I was very pleased to read that K-State has invited your family to the game and will feature Emma as the fan of the game! She deserves to be rewarded for her valor. It is very clear that the K-State fans, administration and likely even the athletes appreciate her story, as they should. Perhaps her teacher has learned a lesson as well and in the future will offer more than one option to her students. However, her teacher did have one thing right, this was not about the schools, it was about strength, determination and a pure motivation to do the right thing.

    Please tell Emma that Mizzou fans are proud of her too! I signed up to follow your blog because any little girl with this much “gumption” as a kindergartner is destined to do great things! Congratulations Mom and Dad, you are obviously doing an excellent job teaching your daughter to be a confident, intelligent, powerful woman one day! She is already a force to be reckoned with!

    Krisi Goodman


  62. Megan says:

    Hi- You don’t know me, and I got the link to your story through a Facebook posting this morning! First, I want to tell you how much I admire your little girl!!! I am a KState grad and Manhattan townie who was brought to live in Lawrence because of my husband. In looking for a good job (the job market in Lawry is tight), I ended up working on campus…. but in a job that I feel I can honestly say is not “for KU”, but instead to enhance all of Northeast Kansas. I have my KState diploma on my wall, a Powercat candy jar and pencil holder on my desk, and my KState Alumni calendar on my bulletin board. In the past 5 years that I’ve worked and lived here, I have had MANY MANY unpleasant confrontations with people about my Wildcat Pride (to be fair, not usually at work, but out-and-about from total strangers). My skin has gotten thicker over time, and I handle it with more humor and ease than I did at first.

    BUT NOW I HAVE A DAUGHTER!!! She’s only 1, but I’m already dreading when she starts school and will be inundated with this type of thing. When it’s time, if she REALLY wants to go to KU, I will understand, but I suspect I will be hurt and a bit bitter. But I have all sorts of secret plans to take her home to enjoy many KSU activities, share the joys of Manhappiness with her, and hope she decides *on her own* to become a KStater. Or that she’s rebellious and chooses KState over KU just to be different than the other kids at school. But in the meantime, I will treasure the story of your little girl and grateful that your daughter gave that teacher something to think about! And I hope someday that teacher has a child who is treated with more respect by his/ her KState-classy teacher than what she showed your little one. Anyway, just needed to share. GO CATS! 🙂


  63. Karen R. says:

    Shame on that teacher for making it such a big issue. That Jayhawk doesn’t represent anything but one of two major universities in Kansas. Coloring a picture of a jayhawker is one thing, coloring that bird is another!


  64. Wilson says:

    Good for Emma…and her parents! Lots of good teaching going on here …OUTSIDE of the classroom. ‘ Nothing wrong with having pride in your family’s college roots. Emma’s Mom is on the ball and right on target on all points, including the apology letter and helping out at school the next day. ‘ Time to add another T-shirt to Emma’s closet; one that says: “Question Authority.”


  65. I am a KU fan and I applaud your daughter!! I think her teacher was being ridiculous!! She obviously wanted some kind of control, so sad she let it go that far. Good job little Emma!!


  66. That is so incredibly hilarious! I grew up in KS and actually no allengence (gasp) to neither. I really thought the teacher should have given each student a choice of which one they wanted to color. Cuddos to Emily for standing her ground! Perhaps Emily will continue to carry this to adulthood and not be afraid to stand up for her beliefs.


  67. Joy says:

    I was cheering on your daughter the entire time reading this blog post that a friend sent. Yay Emma! You make all K-staters proud. I do think it’s weird that her teacher was so strange about the whole jayhawk thing.. So she doesn’t want to color it? WHO cares? She can sit there quietly I’m sure. I would have told my daughter to color it purple and hand it to the teacher with her apology the next day.


  68. When I was drafted into the Army of the United States (AUS) our military serial
    number (the one on your dog tag) showed that we outnumbered the regular army.
    Their SN began RA. Their actual number began with no particular emphasis otherwise. In our case the first two numbers (between 51 and 56) showed where you lived when drafted. 56 meant the 8 western states that made up the 6th Army.
    As we entered Fort Ord late July 1952 the non-com in charge told the bus driver to take us to Emma the First. He meant Company M of the First Regiment. rad


  69. Sarah says:

    Props to your daughter! I hope that any children I have someday are that cool. And, honestly… coloring in a school mascot has nothing to do with Kansas freedom fighters. Maybe the teacher should rethink her lesson plan?

    In the meantime, though, internet high-five to Emma! That’s a true Wildcat, EMAW!


  70. Lisa says:

    If you are born in Kansas you are a Jayhawker, if you live in Kansas you are a Kansan. I am sure the Jayhawk has to do with Kansas and not KU.


  71. Rob Griswold says:

    You are wonderful parents! Personally, her teacher should be the one in trouble, not Emma. I’ve taught my 3-yr old son (I’m a KSU yr 2000 grad) to love the Wildcats and like nothing about KU and he even says things like “Booo KU” and “Silly Bird” (I’ll teach him the good things when he gets older) when he sees people wearing Jayhawk clothing in public. I think you handled it WAY better with her teacher than I would have. Anyway, proud of you and your husband!!


  72. lisa Endecott says:

    I love this story!! I am so proud of Emma. I too remember as a child in grade school 50 years ago coloring the jayhawk. I would have thought things might have changed. I have instilled in my grandchildren the love of the wildcats even though their Dad is a jayhawk the Purple Pride is stronger. I told my daughter “he is going to kill me in my sleep one day ” and she relayed this to him . His reply was “oh no i am going to make sure she is awake”. HA he actually is a good sport with all the K- State gear Mimi has purchased for his children. EMAW Emma


  73. jody says:

    When my daughter was in kindergarten some 20 years ago, she was asked to complete a crossword puzzle during Kansas Week. The clue was “State Mascot” – with 7 letters, so she proudly writes “Wildcat” in those 7 spaces. Only to be corrected. It didn’t cause any stir, but she was upset because it fit. It was a funny story for her to tell when she got home.
    Proud of your daughter. The jayhawk she was forced to color should not have had “KU” on his chest!!


  74. Carol Z. says:

    Very cute reminder of the innocence of youth and how children absorb the attitudes of their parents.
    I’m somewhat concerned tho about a couple of points in your story. One you call a Jayhawk “nothing” and, altho you allude to knowing the origin of the term and symbol, you don’t mention trying to explain to Emma that the Jayhawk was around a long time before KU and KState existed. It sounds as tho the teacher didn’t do a very good job of explaining that the Jayhawks originally were Kansas people who far from being “nothing” stood up and fought for something they believed in very strongly, not just students or fans of KU either so it may fall to you as Emma’s parents to explain what a Jayhawk is as an historical symbol of the state in a way that is age appropriate for her.


  75. David says:

    This story literally made my day! Your little girl is my hero! Shame on that teacher for trying to force her to do something that she didn’t feel comfortable doing (and for trying to assert her own views on her if I might add). It bothers me that even after the fact the teacher still tried to make her color more Jayhawk pictures. If it were me, I would have had words with the school’s principal about this particular teacher’s behavior. Good for Emma for sticking to her guns! Go Emma and Go Cats!! EMAW!

    David in Chicago


  76. Charlie says:

    OMG – my daughter is now 21 years old but she had a very similar incident when she was in kindergarten! First she refused to color the jayhawk, then she said she would color it PURPLE!! Her teacher gave her until the end of the week to color it corectly which she finally did…but she took her PURPLE crayon and wrote GO KSU by the ‘dirty bird’!!! We parents do not brainwash our children, they just have good taste! LOL


  77. This is absolutely hilarious! I grew up a Seminole fan and I would not wear orange with blue jeans at Emma’s age because I told my mom it was Gator colors. I think I would have done the same thing with a Gator picture. Still a die-hard Nole. Great post!


  78. Kathryn says:

    I can only hope that my daughter reacts the same way when someone asks her to color a GA Tech yellow jacket. I think I’ll share this with ALL my families and students (I’m a tutor) today!!


  79. Pam says:

    I love this story. We had a very similar situation with our first grade girl and Iowa State (she is an Iowa Hawkeye fan.) Fortunately, her teacher was a little more understanding.


  80. Sleeping Mama says:

    I saw this story on Yahoo and just wanted to say that I applaud you for the way you handled the situation. And while she may have been rude, I’m so glad she also feels strong enough to question and defy authority from time to time!


  81. As an Olathe native and a K-State grad, I too know the horror of being forced to color a Jayhawk. What a hilarious story – thanks for sharing. The loyalty and camaraderie that K-Staters have is unmatched. Go Cats!


  82. jennifer says:

    I am a Jayhawk fan, but I have to say good job to Emma for standing up for something she believed so strongly in. Great story, it sounds like something my three year old would do.


  83. Trisha says:

    Way to go Emma and Mom. What a crock of fried Jayhawk!!! I can not believe that a Kindergarten teacher would force such a issue. She must be the Jayhawk fan. Boo, I say. BAD teacher and bad school for not standing up for Emma. I am a Tiger, Go MIZZOU!!! Go Emma!!!


  84. Kate says:

    If you haven’t heard of the book Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer by Dr. Dana Scott Spears & Dr. Ron L. Braund I would suggest a reading of it! I used to teach and LOVED kids like your daughter. They made teaching exciting and a challenge to keep up with their quick minds:). But I noticed students like Emma often had power struggles with teachers because the teachers did not understand them. I would keep copies of this book in my classroom and pass them out to parents if I though their child was a “dreamer” (and that does not mean “space cadet”). She may not be a dreamer, but if she is, this book will be helpful!


  85. Christine says:

    I am a JayHawk fan from Missouri, but this is AWESOME!!! Why did her teacher care? She must not be from Kansas to understand the rivalry?!? As a former teacher, I would have laughed my head off right then and there! Good job with Miss Emma, Mom & Dad!


  86. Oh my gosh! I LOVE this!!! I found your blog through the yahoo new story…I doubt you ever thought you’d be famous for something like this! haha! I graduated from Oklahoma State University….and I’m pretty sure when I have kids they will bleed orange. This could possibly be a story in our house in the future. I hope that I handle it with as much grace and class as you do. I’m with Emma though, except with a different school….I don’t want anything “Sooner” in my house! 🙂 Her teenage years maybe hard, but what awesome character that she’s building for her adult-life!


  87. I absolutely LOVE this story. I saw it today on yahoo and Emma is a true example of a dedicated fan! This is a GREAT story! 🙂 (as a duke fan, i can relate to this!)


  88. I just saw the story on Yahoo and HAD to come tell you that your kid is totally awesome. I’m not from Kansas or have any affiliation with the schools, but I appreciate that kind of will. She’s going to turn into quite a woman!


  89. Makena says:

    I’m just appalled that the teacher made such a huge deal about not coloring the sheet. That teacher has an ego a mile high and probably shouldn’t be teaching young kids if she’s going to be so stubborn and unsympathetic towards the kids.


  90. Congratulations on making the front page of Yahoo! (Can you tell me how to do that???? Haha) It’s funny, because today I was at my daughter’s school and I saw all the Kansas flags and I noticed they all had Jayhawks with them and I thought, Where are the K-State Cats?? Glad to see she took a stand!


  91. breanna says:

    I think Emma should get a award from k-statethanking her for stiking up for them. I would have never been able to do this with my kindergarten teacher.YOU GO GIRL!


  92. Janet Reynolds says:

    As and educator for over 30 years, I’m still dismayed that teachers are assigning COLORING. And no K student can understand the historical significance of the Jayhawk. This teacher needs to reflect on the importance of some of her assignments. It’s a perfect time for the kids to learn about the symbols of Kansas. They can learn about Kansas colleges later.


  93. Bayareamom says:

    I am dying laughing at the moment. Oh, dear Emma. You make me proud. I am SO MUCH like Emma, and I am afraid I would have behaved exactly as Emma did under the same circumstances. Likewise, I would have been spoken to by my own Mother just as you spoke with Emma. And equally so, my response would have been exactly as Emma’s was in return.

    Oh, this girl is destined for great things. I admire her spunk and tenacity.

    Thank you for sharing your story, It absolutely made my day.



  94. Future Art Teacher says:

    Yes, your Emma could have handled it differently… but the teacher could have handled it differently too.

    This could all have been averted if the teacher had just taken Emma aside and said…

    “Tell you what, kiddo. I don’t have a K-State mascot for you to color right now, but if you can do me a favor and just go along with it for today, I’ll get you a K-state mascot to color tomorrow. I just don’t have a K-State one today, I’m so sorry.”

    It’s about respect. It’s about tolerance. It’s about being flexible.


  95. Clara Glover says:

    You are a little hero. You stuck to your guns and stood up tall and proud! Mom and Dad I don’t think Emma will cause you many problems because you have taught her to stand up for what you believe in. I too am a K-State fan…even though I live in PA now I still follow the Wildcats.


  96. Elizabeth Chiles says:

    Dear Emma,

    You did a great job coloring the Powercat! I’m sorry your teacher made you color the yucky bird. Sometimes grownups can be silly. I hope you had fun at the game, too bad we didn’t win.
    A Fellow KSU Fan,


  97. Frank Martin says:

    I hope you disciplined your daughter for disrespecting her teacher and for not following the rules. And shame on K-State for rewarding this kind of behavior.


  98. Rachele says:

    As a Mizzou fan, I’m very happy to hear that your daughter refused to color the stupid (and ugly!) Jayhawk! She deserves a prize. And that teacher was out of line for forcing the kids to color a Jayhawk–they should have had a choice! Heck, there might have even been some Tiger fans in her class ;-).


  99. I saw your story on the front page of Yahoo a few minutes ago. As a K-State alum myself, I had to laugh. As an Olathe resident I’m a little dismayed that Olathe is once again in a negative spotlight (thanks to the teacher, Mrs. __, whoever you are). Overall, I think you did a wonderful job with the situation and I think your daughter should get a scholarship to K-State! I’m a fellow blogger too. Stop by and say hello!


  100. It is too bad a teacher couldn’ t or wouldn’t acknowledge this child’s convictions. Emma may your parents continue to teach you well and may you learn from their example. Your stance in this will continue for years and years as you mo then.ve forward in your studies and life. Good job Emma. Even as a little girl I didn’t like KU either. My husband is a KSU grad from 1965 and I got a PHT


  101. Greg Stewart says:

    I am a really, really big Jayhawk fan now living in Phoenix, Arizona. I just wanted to write to you to tell you how much I admire your stance on the KU/KSU rivalry. We may disagree about which school we like the most. But, Emma, don’t ever give in. This is serious stuff. If you were my daughter, I’m sure I’d be just as proud of you right now as your parents must be. Hang in there. Go Cats.


  102. Absolutely loved your story. My nephew’s would do the same thing if they had to color something from Duke. They would certainly try to color it Carolina Blue as a compromise, just like Emma reached for the purple crayon. I hope she sticks to her guns just like this for the rest of her life!


  103. JC says:

    I’m a school teacher, Kstate grad, and former member of KSU football team; I am so proud to call myself a Wildcat and I congratulate this child on her upholding of the great rivalry between the doctors & farmers, spoon-fed & corn-fed, white collar & blue-collar. Nice job!! Emaw!!!


  104. Margie says:

    Dear Emma,
    I agree with your mother. I hate to see you in trouble with your teacher, but you were simply and innocently standing up for your Wildcats. I’m confident your teacher knows that as well.

    My daughter is a member of the KSU pep band. She cheered for you last night at the basketball game! She, like you, has ALWAYS been a Wildcat. When she was little she used to tell me, “When I grow up I’m going to be either a Classy Cat or march in the band.” Well Emma guess what? She is now the Assistant Drum Major for the KSU marching band and plays in the pep band as well.

    Follow your dreams Emma! Congratulations on being last nights Fan Of The Game!

    Margie Eck


  105. I’m a Wisconsinite who normally couldn’t care less about sports…but I congratulate Emma for standing up to her teacher like that. The other Kansas pictures related to the state in general, not to one specific school that Emma’s too young to attend; the Jayhawk shouldn’t have been part of a social-studies activity to begin with.


  106. Maria says:

    Oh my goodness! I teach in Alaska, first grade. I’ve been teaching young kids for over 10 years. And I cannot imagine making a big deal over this! For goodness sake – I would have giggled and let her draw a Wildcat or tried to find a Wildcat coloring page on the computer. What a hoot – and great job for your daughter standing up for herself. That teacher needs to take a time-out. 🙂


  107. Ca'Rhonde says:

    That is too funny, why to go Emma. The teacher should have hand the problem in a diffent way. Why should she have to color a stupid Jayhoks


  108. Juwei Nam (@MengChiao) says:

    Forcing a young FIVE year old to systematically color something she does not like is a form of oppression if you look at it correctly and also a form of control. There’s following the rules then there’s just absolute tyranny. She’s FIVE for hell’s sake! The teacher approached her mother ‘angrily’. Really? She was that pissed off that a five year old did not wish to color in an object of ire? Why should all of them color the same damn thing? What are they learning? Nothing. In fact the five year old put in a lot more initiative just to color something different. The teacher is nothing but a mass-minded sheep who can’t understand the working brain of a mere five year old.
    What if a child had a phobia of mice-enough to cry? That teacher would probably angrily approach the parent again and demand the kid sit down, stop crying, and touch the mouse even with her disgusting way of thinking!
    Even worse if a child were abused/raped/ or any other such thing by a man who happened to wear a shirt with a logo on it. A child could develop a fear over that too!
    What would the teacher do then? Demand she/he get over it? It’s unreasonable for the teacher to demand anything more than what is knowledge and what is appropriate.
    Coloring the teacher’s favorite logo does not improve the child’s knowledge or contribute any factors other that snottily ordering around scared five year olds. It doesn’t even teach the kid to follow rules because coloring an unnecessary object that holds NO VALUE and doesn’t contribute to anything just teaches the child that busy work is what a teacher likes best and you don’t have to learn shit.

    Honestly you should talk to the principal that the teacher handled the situation terribly and should have at the very least let the child color the darn bird a different color! In all near-calmness this teacher completely fails as a teacher. If she can’t handle a child’s coloring values she definitely can’t handle a child of the examples I gave!


  109. The teacher was heavy-handed in her approach. She should have given her a choice. It would have taken maybe a minute to sketch out the outline of her choice to color in. I can’t say much for that teacher’s inventive skills in handling the moment. I would say bravo to the kid and her mom.


  110. I’m so amazed to hear what Emma fought for where she stands, and not be afraid to get into trouble. I wish her a good life and good education so when she reach adulthood, she will put this positive character for good cause. Greetings from Jakarta, Indonesia! Otis.


  111. Tammy says:

    I love it!!!! We have a divided household; my husband is an Indiana university fan and I a university of Kentucky fan; we live on the border of both states; my daughter is on my side and despises anything that is iu; my husbands friend sent him this article because it reminded him of her; she got her name on the board for the first time at school a couple of weeks ago ( she is also in kind) and my husband told her if it happened again she has to wear an iu shirt for a whole day; needless to say this was not taken likely and there has been no trouble since!!! I could so see her doing the exact same thing!!!!


  112. Aaron Cooper says:

    I’m an Oklahoma State fan that is very proud of your daughter. I would love to know that my kids would do the same.

    What an awesome little girl!

    Way to go Emma!

    You should be very proud!


  113. I say good for her! And I would consult a lawyer to find out if this teacher infringed on your daughter’s civil rights of life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe this teacher was wrong to make your daughter color a jayhawk. It should be her choice,she should not be bullied by a teacher!This may be a government mandate to mold the child’s mind to do as they are told by their government and not stand up for their rights. Remember the NDAA signed into law by Obama,our rights are going down the drain!


  114. Lilian Moreen says:

    Thumbs up for Emma, from South America. Showing great character there even if she did it in her childlike way. May she grow up to become one who will stand for what she believes in and may God give her the wisdom to discern and follow what is right.


  115. MelissaFSU says:

    Awesome parenting, awesome kid. I am about to give birth to a Little Florida State baby girl myself, and I pray if she was ever asked to color the dreaded UF Gator, she would do the same thing, because its about faith and belief in something bigger than just the crayons on a page. This same child will fight for friends, her country, her family, her religion… Kudos to such a wonderul little girl, and parents who raise their kids right 🙂


  116. Doug Dyson says:

    From a participant in another great college rivalry, please give Emma a hearty “War Eagle”. We would not color a big red elephant either. Love her little feisty spirit, it reminds me of my now 15 year old daughter who could sing the Auburn fight song before she could walk. That kind of fight will serve her well. Don’t back down, Emma!
    Doug Dyson AU ’88
    Powder Springs, GA


  117. Spartan in Solidarity says:

    Hi, I read about Emma’s story on a Michigan State Spartans message board and I want to let you know that I applaud the stand that she took, (and I’m surprised at the teacher’s inflexibility in this matter). In fact, MSU Spartan fans everywhere stand in solidarity with Emma (as we, too, have a sister school–the University of Michigan–who often act as if they own our state). She is a brave girl with a bright future.


  118. pk says:

    I really like and appreciate that you could help her understand the difference between sticking to her principles and being rude to the teacher, and that you did so by talking without threats or coercion or bribery. Good parenting if I’ve ever seen it! The apology note is great. Best wishes to you all.


  119. Richard Carlin says:

    I too a devoted KSU fan had an issue with my 7th grade history teacher. On a test the question was “In what city is the first Kansas State University located?. My answere was Manhattan, Kansas. That response was checked as in correct. I was extremely upset and lost the argument with the teacher who said the first University in Kansas was located in Lawrence. I didn’t agree that was what the question was asking. Anyways I give Emma a hats off salute. You go girl.


  120. Hayes Pierce says:

    Interesting story and an interesting little girl. I can see how it makes you proud to have such a headstrong daughter.
    I can offer this comment:
    While being devoted is admirable, kids that don’t do what the teacher says is less admirable. There are plenty of times to stand tall on lots of important issues in our lives. Think about whether or not the mascot for a sports team is the proper example to teach her that very important lesson. Perhaps an even more important life skill is understanding when and when not to be headstrong. You never know, there may come a time in her adult life when doing what the boss says just because he/she says to do it is the best thing for her and her family and her career.

    Of course that won’t be a problem when she is the head basketball coach or the Chancellor at K-state. 🙂

    Good Luck to you and your daughter!


  121. Paige Bartlett says:

    Thank you for teaching your daughter the art of compromise! As a teacher, it’s impossible to back down from a decision–even a mistaken one–when a student makes a scene. Emma’s teacher was immature, but maybe she didn’t think about the assignment’s ramifications; hopefully she’ll print a less controversial assignment for next year. (The Jayhawk coloring book was petty; let’s hope she’s not starting a power struggle with a 5-year old!!! That never ends well…)


  122. My husband and I are both K-Staters and we found this story very endearing. We have a 5 month old daughter and would laugh if someday she had a similar experience at school. Thanks for sharing!


  123. Jacque Lupinacci says:

    I’m a transplanted KU fan. In my opinion the teacher needs a time out. I live with a Connecticut Husky fan and sometimes we have to find some common ground without giving up our core princples, ie KU rules and Huskies drool. My hat is off to Emma for making her courageous stand for her team. It’s what makes our KU-KSU rivalry so wonderful. So Emma enjoy those purple kitties while I chalk up a rock for the Jayhawks. PS. I love this story, I’ve emailed it to several family and friends.


  124. Jules says:

    I would say that strong will power will get her somewhere some day…tell her she is a very sweet girl for expecting what she could not change……much love from Pensacola FL


  125. teachnks says:

    While a stupid assignment, I understand the teacher’s response. I hope that your behind the back high fives and cheers for Emma don’t undermine the respect that her teacher (and her future teachers) deserve. Its fine to stand up for what you believe in, but you must also do it with respect and dignity. You must also face facts that sometimes in life you will do things you don’t want to because you are told to do so by a “superior” (teacher, boss, etc) That is life, I hope Emma realizes this in spite of the confused messages you might be sending her.


  126. Teri says:

    What an awesome little girl! 🙂 Bugs me that the teacher refused to bring coloring pages in for the other school and then that she was actually angry about it. Sounds like the teacher has her own school allegiance and she’s letting it bias her teaching.


  127. scott rodgers says:

    Thank you for standing up for the smaller school in the state EVERYWHERE. We live in Georgia and we are Georgia Tech fans. Everywhere we go we have to endure the University of Georgia. My children have long endured ridicule for not being like the masses of the state. Your daughter made a stand (a little rudely mind you) but good for her. Harness that stubburness and be proud. One for the other team in every state!!!!


  128. Lori says:

    Making national news (featured on sports.yahoo.com)- I had to track your story down. I think you handled this WONDERFULLY. I echo your opinion that the teacher should allow them the choice to color the mascot they want. Your daughter is awesome.

    Thanks for bringing a chuckle to my day.


  129. Tracy Beasley says:


    This is the most hilarious post! I love it! Your blog is awesome! As a former teacher, I say BRAVO to Emma! Way to stand up for what you believe!!


  130. Laura says:

    I married into the Wildcat Nation from another Big XII school, and love the Cats just as much as if they were my alma mater. The loyalty of KSU fans is so contagious, and it is obvious Emma has purple in her veins. So, on behalf of a Red Raider turned Wildcat, “way to go, Emma!” (and, um, “guns up, Emma!”)


  131. Esther Ware says:

    Love this – even though I am a born-and-raised Jayhawk. 🙂 Her teenage years WILL be interesting, but she will make you SOOOOO proud; your hard work in teaching her to stand up for what is right has paid off. She has proven that she is a fighter for what she believes in. And she is courageous! This is the stuff that changes nations…and the world.


  132. TimL says:

    You gotta love Emma’s strength of character – even if her “melt-down” was not the best way for her to react – in the face of a poorly conceived and inflexible lesson plan. What would have been the harm in allowing an option? High five to Emma from Ohio


  133. Rob says:

    I would like to remind this mother that the”Jayhawker” is a symble of Kansas and it dates back to the Civil War. After the Civil War, Kansas was know as the Jayhawk State and the term was used to describe a horse thief during the bloody war with Missouri.


  134. Ryan Haines says:

    Thank you Emma! From a K-State Architect in St. Louis who married a Mizzou tiger. Our house firmly believes in a jawhawk free nation. I’m going to the Mizzou/K-State game next Tuesday, I may make a banner in Emma’s honor. Look for the House Divided flag in the stands. Cheers, Ryan


  135. All children should be taught to stick to their beliefs. Only the parents should have the right to question why this happened. Forcing a child to do something that makes them unhappy isn’t very smart. The school is there to teach acamidemics. No school or person should try to force their choice of Sporting or anything else on an impressional child. It’s just wrong. This will not be soon forgotten.


  136. Sheila Sullivan says:

    You are great parent’s. I love how you handled the situation without compromising your daughter’s values or your relationship with her. Bravo! I wish I had time to tell you the story of my son’s “religious stick figure”….lol


  137. Bri Kendig says:

    Thank you soo much for the laugh! I would be SOO proud of my daughter if she behaved as Emma did!! Way to teach her values such a loyalty, strenghth, having a backbone, and of course EMAW! And, great parenting on supporting Emma, but still teaching her to respect authority. You are awesome! Hold your heads up high and be proud! Go Cats!!!


  138. Cheryl says:

    I just read the news feature on Yahoo and linked to your blog. I have no team loyalty and never did, even after living in Florida and Tennessee with strong university teams with lots of fans. So instead I would like to address the other issues I see here.

    First I would like to commend you as a parent for helping Emma see that though she is entitled to her opinion she didn’t handle it in the right way. Teaching her how to handle situations will be valuable for her as she grows up.

    Secondly, I commend you for having Emma apologize for being rude. There is a right way and a wrong way to handle things.

    I question that team loyalty is the “only thing” that is right in your family. Surely there are other values that will be a guiding force for Emma as she grows older. Those are the ones that will guide her through her teen-age years.

    Lastly, sometimes we just have to “play the game”. There will be things that we are asked to do in school, our jobs, and life. If it is not immoral, unethical, or illegal then just do it. As you told Emma, you don’t have to like it, but you do have to do it.

    By the way, I am a mother, grandmother and teacher. I have lived through similar situations on both sides of the issue. (And we all survived!)


  139. krk says:

    your kid, is without a doubt, AWESOME. What character and fire she has! Most children don’t have that kind of determination. LOVE IT! Sounds like you’re doing all the right things! Good work, mama!


  140. Dru says:

    I don’t know you (saw this post on a friend’s facebook)…and I’m a Mizzou fan…but Go Emma! My daughter was walking through our church’s school (located in Kansas) and all the kids had done Jayhawks. She asked me if she went to shool here…would she have to make one too? She certainly didn’t like that idea. I agree – respectful is good – but shame on that teacher for making it such a big deal.


  141. Sharon Norris says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. There is something wrong with a family which hates the other state school to the point that their kindergartner refuses to color a picture of that school’s mascot when told to do so by the teacher. I hate to think what my parents would have done had I pulled such a trick. In elementary school children should be learning to obey teachers so long as they don’t violate body privacy type restrictions. Everybody has to obey someone in life or take the consequences. This was mostly the fault of the parents, and they need to take a long, hard look at what they are teaching the child.


  142. Wynnster says:

    Sometimes its ok to question authority. Good for you teaching your kid to speak up for herself. Additionally, that teacher needs to get her knickers out of a twist, and chill out. Its coloring, not math or science.


  143. Found this in the news on Yahoo, and I really enjoyed reading the rest of the story on your blog. Good job, Mom! If I ever come across a situation like this with my kids I hope I can handle it as beautifully as you did.


  144. schools have gotten worse instead of better im not sure if its the teachers fault or the kids this 5 year old i really dont blame her my daughter would proberly done the same thing..


  145. chelsea says:

    I am from IL. and not really a sports fan, but if my child felt so strongly about something that shouldn’t have been a big deal to begin with, I would have a few choice words for her teacher. There is no reason that she couldn’t have colored a different picture. I would have also had a few words with the principal as well. Its teachers like that that make the good ones look bad too. Who seriously should be teaching kindergarteners to not stand up for their beliefs especially in this day and age when we need that the most.


  146. Go Emma! I’m a HUSKER and all my family knows is HUSKER. A teacher wouldn’t dare do that in the state of Nebraska. In Kansas theese schools are BIG rivals and the teacher should’ve let them choose. It’s not like she did something that any adult wouldn’t have done. No way in *ell should the teacher think this was fare to the kids. She should’ve gave them the state flower, animal etc. Then two school rivals with only one choice. She must not be from around their, or she went to ku.


  147. Ron Harper (not the basketball player) says:

    My children were older when I went to DePaul. I might have had a problem with the younger ones if they had to color a picture of DePaul’s mascot especially during the hey day of their more outstanding years in men’s basketball as the DePaul University…Blue Demons. Actually, they made it kind of a cute cartoon character. In the early days of DePaul basketbal the team was introduced as the “D” men from DePaul that morphed into DePaul D men and then finally the DePaul University Blue (the main color for the school) Demons. If they didn’t like the little blue demon maybe a horse would have been better since Vincent DePaul was at one time a wanted horse thief.


  148. skylin hastings says:

    Hey k- States the first college in Kansas it needs to be reconized i hate both colleges personally i prefer upper level ones but still you have yourself one strong girl she should always fight for what she believes. She is now my role model


  149. Deb Reynolds says:

    Way to go, Miss Emma! I am a speech teacher in a school like yours, and I want you to know that my speech room had nothing but purple and K-State in it! I agree with your parents that you need to be respectful to your teachers and follow directions….that IS important. But I am SO proud that you showed your PURPLE PRIDE!

    I wood LOVE


  150. Deb Reynolds says:

    Way to go, Miss Emma! I am a speech teacher in a school like yours, and I want you to know that there is nothing but purple and K-State in my room….even my carpet squares are people!

    I agree with your mon and dad, you do need to be respectful to your teachers and follow directions… That IS important. But I am SO proud that you wee


  151. I commented on this when i saw it on Yahoo! I hadnt seen all of it. Its good for what she has fought for. Someone said that it was good that she had colored it and that it will teach her that she will have to do things even if she doesnt like it.
    I commented back to them saying:
    “If you dont like something you fight for what you want to do not what your forced to do. Unless its against the law there is always a way around something.”
    Very good way to have handled it. I would have never thought of something better than you 😉 Continue your great parenting.


  152. Caitlin Suemnicht says:

    I read about this online. I smiled. Then I sent it to my mom, my dad, and my sister. I live in Madison, Wisconsin (we moved here when I was 16 and I’m 31 now) but I lived in Kansas for my first 16 years, and this is exactly how I remember it. Die hard fans for either KU or K-State. I remember when KU basketball went to the final four, and they had all the basketball games on during school. Yep, that’s right, during math class, social studies, with the SOUND ON. We even got the day off of school for a field trip to the airport to welcome the team back after they lost. Only in Kansas. There are plenty of MAJOR Wisconsin sports fans up here, and I’m one of them, having gone to UW for college. but nothing says school spirit like this. Believe it or not, I now like KU and KState, because both remind me of home.


  153. Jordan says:

    Love this…the will power of the child. If only we could all follow this example and really stand up for what we believe in! You’ve got a good one there, foster the revolutionary in her!


  154. Kansas Teacher says:

    As a Jayhawk fan, I am very proud of this little girl. While this may be funny now, and a silly argument to us as parents, we also have to look at how she stood up for what she believed in. Oh, but don’t we wish we could have political leaders in this country who were as determined to stand up for their principles as this 6 year old girl! As a teacher, I can also tell you this teacher was WRONG. I feel sad for students today, who get these teachers who can’t just “teach” anymore. There is almost always 2 sides to every arguement. The Jayhawk is not the official mascot of the state, she should have had other options to color. There is more than one university in this state. Give her a Wildcat to color. Good grief.


  155. Oh my gosh, I can’t even handle this story. she is too too too cute. My husband and I have been laughing about this all morning. What a firecracker! I’m sure it is loads of fun to be her mom. And on a mommy note, I also love the way you handled the situation. Great story, thanks for sharing!


  156. Bob says:

    I’m a life long KU fan, and I love your daughters reaction. What I don’t understand is why her teacher felt it was appropriate to make her color a Jayhawk…I would have let her draw a Wildcat.

    Way to go, Emma!


  157. Tara says:

    This same situation happened with MY Emma when she was in Kindergarten…EXCEPT that her teacher WAS a KU fan and my Emma did NOT get into trouble for refusing to color her Jayhawk. Her teacher thought it was humorous. The teacher brought it to our attention but she didn’t make her color it, and didn’t make it into a big deal. Way to stick up for your school, Emma!!


  158. Cassandra says:

    Considering I live in Florida I understand about school rivalries. I have to say, BRAVO to Emma. This made my mom and I smile as my mom used to work for someone who is a KU fan. I also think the teacher was wrong on two points. Kindergarten is about letting our children use their imaginations, Emma should have been allowed to color the jayhawk purple, unless it was one of those papers with the color name in the box so you HAVE to color it that particular color. Second point the teacher was wrong on, she should have given the students the option of either the jayhawk or the wildcat as it comes across to me as though this was ALL about KU, not an actual exercise in how to color.


  159. Dear mom,
    like how you handled the situation. I am sorry my Jayhawk is so despised. I am mad at the teacher too. She should not have used my College Jayhawk to represent the time the word Jayhawk came to be used in Kansas history as that time does not represent what the current Jayhawk is about. However, let your daughter know that just because you do not like the Jayhawk and went to K state, if there is a degree she can not get at K state that she can get at KU it is ok to go there. I wanted to be a vet but my family all went to KU. I still regret not being a vet.


  160. Emma…Perhaps your teacher should print out more than one University or State College in Kansas so students have a choice! You know the saying, “Follow the Golden Rule as I (your teacher) am making the gold!” In this case, however, the rule can be broken! I’m a Kansas gal (KU grad)…my husband (K-State) and daughter also (K-State)! I’m ecumenical…root for both teams in athletics except my K-State husband refuses to recognize that Jayhawk also! He carries a strong loyalty to his University…and there is nothing wrong with that! YOU GO GIRL!!


  161. The REAL Jeff Burton says:

    Emma’s grandfather is using the publicity to pick up women. He is trying to pick up my mother, and it is really pissing me off.


  162. Kip says:

    As a KY Wildcat fan and avid detester of rock chalk choke I am a huge fan of little Emma. We are Wildcat family albeit from different schools. 🙂


  163. The REAL Jeff Burton says:

    Great story, Julie, but we need to talk about your father-in-law. He has threatened to fire anyone who wears anything blue to work. It’s bad enough that he is hitting on my mother and that he used Scott’s ACL tear to get his own free mobile scooter from Medicare.

    Please get control of your father-in-law. He is a disgrace to short, balding men everywhere.


  164. I must admit that I am from Canada and I dont really understand the KU or K-State debate…but that isn’t content that is brainwashing (if it was the other way around I would still think it was brainwashing). Good girl for standing your ground.


  165. Abbie Denen says:

    My husband is a K-State grad and thought this was a great story! We have a child in Kindergarten as well. It was coincidence that he (my 5 year old) had on his K-State shirt today.


  166. EWAW-The new EMAW replacement. It’s the every woman a wildcat to replace every man a wildcat. As a K-State alum and avid supporter, I loved this story. I am a retired elementary principal and if Emma would have been sent to my office, I would have given her a powercat to color and she would NOT be in trouble. Now, I make K-State, KU, MU, Nebraska and Iowa State fleece doggie jackets and various other collegiate items. My company is called BOOMEROOS and I also have a company named BOOMEROOS’ BUDDIES. I’d love to give Emma a K-State BOOMEROOS’ BUDDIES summer dress to applaud her efforts to stand up for the purple and white! Please go to BOOMEROOS.COM and contact me. Thanks.
    Barbara McPherson, BOOMEROOS


  167. Rick Johnson says:

    How cool is that? I am an Oklahoma alum, but I can just see my grandson doing a similar protest when it comes to OSU.
    Boomer Sooner


  168. Jerry E. Stephens says:

    Even tho I believe “Rock Chalk” should be the national hymn, mantra, or logo (whatever), Emma has become one of my favorite kindergartners. Love that story. Tell Emma to always stand up for what she believes in. And always be prepared to defend her opinion with the best she can muster. Thank you.


  169. Patricia Allen says:

    Emma I am proud of you for standing up for what you believe in. Note to teacher- making Emma color a Jayhawk at 5 years old is the same as making a Christian bow in a Islam mosque. You need to be a little more lenient and reward her for standing up for what she believes in. Too many people compromise their beliefs. That is why our great nation, which was a Christian nation to begin with is in the state it is, too many people compromising their beliefs. Let me know when you run for President Emma I will vote for you! Go Wildcats!


    • Ingeborg S. Nordén says:

      Equating a sports rivalry with a religious difference is going much too far; athletic teams and mascots aren’t gods, no matter how much a fan might wish they were. Misplaced loyalty aside, though … The teacher shouldn’t have included any team insignia in the coloring project, since no athletes officially represent the whole state. (If the last picture had shown a historical Jayhawker instead of the KU Jayhawk, it might have been appropriate for social studies.)


  170. Tom says:

    This is awesome. Any sports fan could appreciate this. And why is this teacher dictating what colors have to be used? Billy Madison drew a blue duck because he never had seen a blue duck before, maybe Emma wanted to see what a purple jayhawk looked like!


  171. Bill Gordon says:

    What a great story! I have two daughters, both raised wearing K-State. My wife is a die hard fan who likes to cheer for any team playing KU. As you might guess they have both ended up at KSU. I have been laughing to the point of tears for the past few minutes. I hope my kids will name my first granddaughter Emma!


  172. Val says:

    I am so glad you shared this story. I think you handled this perfectly. Your little girl seems to be very special and I think she’ll go on to do big things some day. Keep up the good parenting. 🙂 Hopefully that teacher has learned a valuable lesson from your family.


  173. Jane Taylor says:

    Way to go, Emma! As a former teacher, I have difficulty understanding why the teacher was so upset. If she had seen the humor in Emma’s reasoning, the lack of importance in coloring that Jayhawk would have been apparent and funny. Thanks for the chuckles! EMAW!!


  174. Jay Black says:

    Emma should be awarded a scholarship to K-State immediately. If you and your family ever come to Waco to watch the Wildcats play Baylor, Emma’s heroic act has just earned you free passes to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
    Jay Black


  175. dan says:

    As a teacher and a Jayhawk fan I find this story to be amazing and extremely funny! I’m very proud of your little girl for standing up for herself. I joke with my kids all the time about what team they root for and they joke with me as well. But most importantly I try to teach that they have the right and the privilege to cheer and root for whomever they wish. You have a strong-willed one on your hands and you’re right when you say you might have an interesting few teenage years with her! Good luck and very well written.


  176. Vern says:

    Great story! I have a six-year-old granddaughter who is a Duke fan. I can see her doing the very same thing if a teacher tried to make her color something from UNC. Stick to your guns, girl!


  177. Mike says:

    Ridiculous how children now feel so empowered that they can refuse to do even a simple task at school. There were many many things I didn’t believe in while in school, but I sure as heck did them.

    Maybe one day at school some kids won’t feel like treating her nicely and she’ll be acted upon as she did with a class project.

    Good luck to this girl in the future, she’ll need it.

    Btw, Kansas and KSU both suck.



  178. Augie says:

    Hi – just read your post, after being directed here from Grantland. What a great story, and my wife and I agree that you are a better parent than either of us – we would have refused to let our child color the Jayhawk; but your approach was better, and teaches the better lesson. We live in Pennsylvania, but I was brought up in Syracuse, and am no Jayhawk fan (as the Orange beat them in the ’03 final four). Our kids are still a bit young to appreciate sports loyalties, but your story has been inspiring. I hope Emma keeps that fighting spirit her whole life – I am sure it serve her well! Thanks for sharing!


  179. shannon Parmentier says:

    I don’t find this story funny at all. This little girl refused to do an assignment that was given to her by her adult teacher. I find it ridiculous that the teacher demanded her to color it red,blue and yellow, but the point of the matter is that it was work assigned. The rest of the class did the work but she refused and threw a tantrum. This little girl has no idea why she likes K-State over KU other than the fact that her parents tell her to like it. For Emma to support a school is fine,but to have such disregard for authority is terrible. The lesson that was learned , if you believe in something you can act and behave as badly as you want if you believe it is right. Good luck with that.


  180. Bruce Lutz says:

    As you can see from the posting date, I am so far behind with this one. My daughter (she, my other duaghter, and son graduated from K-State) told me about this over the weekend. Love it. As a Mizzou grad, it’s wonderful to see whenever anyone can escape the misguided notion that the Bird-Thing school is simply all that. Hopefully this teacher and others will ultimately realize it is NOT so. You have taught her well. Not only where her loyalties should lie but to also stick up for one’s convictions.


  181. This is really sensational, Julie. Excellent writing… of course it doesn’t hurt that your story is over-the-top hilarious. I found your blog through a search for “Pat Bosco”. We recently met him. My youngest son is a senior in Olathe and plans to go to KSU next Fall. Pat is a dynamite fellow. I was actually looking for a picture of Pat to add to a blog post I have coming next week. I write http://www.itsgoodtobethedad.com/. I asked Pat to be “Dean of Parents” and share some insights about Drop Off Day which many parents will be facing in a few short weeks.

    This gets tedious now… I’ve got another post coming in a week or two in which an elementary teacher friend shares some thoughts about first graders’ first day of school. I’ll post a short video of my oldest son’s, first day of school. My wife went to MU and we had raised a little Tiger until that moment Isaac shook Mrs. Moon’s hand. She turned him into a Jayhawk as fiercely as your Emma is a Wildcat. In the college drop off day post coming next week, I have another short video of Isaac’s first day at college. The days fly by, Julie. I sure am happy to see your blog and how you’re capturing these precious moments.

    I wish you the very best.


  182. Paula Harris says:

    My daughter is now 17. She had this very same discussion with her Kindergarten teacher. She disagreed that she was a Jayhawk…her daddy says she’s a Wildcat. The harder the teacher tried to explain, the more firm my daughter was. The teacher gave up and promised she wouldn’t call her a Jayhawk again. To this day, her teacher still speaks of the one little girl that got the best of her. The teacher has since retired.

    We did have her apologize for arguing with her teacher and understand that is wrong. But, she did not have to color that picture since it was just extra fun papers.

    She has been on several college visits to K-State and her older sister is currently a Sophomore there.

    I am one proud K-State Mom


  183. I can’t read through 300+ comments so sorry if this is duplicative nonsense, but I love that kid of yours. Can you imagine if she was a fan of a school whose teams didn’t pretty much such most of the time? She’d be out of control!! Lol, zing!

    Shame on that teacher for not letting her at least color the bird purple and gray, like that’s a big deal. Was she a KU grad? It would explain her lack of creativity or ability to outwit a 5 year old for sure.


    • ksujulie says:

      Don – you and I both know the majority of KU fans did not actually go to the school. I will leave it at that.;)
      The comments on this post are out of control. I couldn’t read them for a long time. I got blasted for “brainwashing” and the teacher got blasted. I guess that is the nature of a post going viral…
      The post was put on parenting websites. Those comments were the worst.


      • I can see how this created a little controversy simply because some people don’t have a sense of humor. You made her apologize and do what the teacher asked in the end, AND you volunteered at the Kansas day. That’s good parenting right there. Us normal human beings who don’t take offense at every little thing found this to be cute and hilarious.


  184. I can relate to this. I live in Iowa. Well… Iowa is the Hawkeye state, right? And we are a family of Iowa State fans, which are rivals of The University of Iowa, whose mascot does just happen to be… the Hawkeyes. I can see where this would go very, very wrong if this were to occur in my daughter’s classroom. She’s already in kindergarten and is RABIDLY anti-Hawkeye. This made me laugh. Strong willed little girls will rule the world someday.


  185. Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere,
    when i read this article i thought i could also create comment due to this brilliant piece of writing.


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