Aka, alpha kappa alpha

Nashville Teacher Confiscates 7-Year-Old Girl’s Thrifted ‘AKA’ Shirt

A Nashville school teacher confiscated a 7-year-old girl’s thrifted shirt because it bore letters representing Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (AKA), News Channel 5 reported. 

The incident occurred at McGavock Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee, and has been the subject of a social media storm. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is the first African-American sorority and part of the Divine Nine, a group of historically-Black Greek-letter organizations

The young girl’s shirt was emblazoned with the words “AKA 1908” in pink and green rhinestones, referencing the year the sorority was formed. “I liked the shirt I was wearing a lot,” said Peyton Tiger, who was given something else to wear after the interaction.

The second grader’s mother, Chloe Smith, spoke to News Channel 5 about the situation. “When I picked her up off the bus, it took me a second, but I realized, why are you wearing a different shirt,” she said. 

The teacher, who was not identified, later emailed the child’s mother, informing her of the reason. “Today, I noticed Peyton wearing an AKA shirt. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a service organization for college-trained and educated women,” the message read.

“AKA branded items are trademarked and reserved for members only. Thus, I had to give her a new shirt and take the AKA shirt. The new shirt she received is clean, and there is no need to give it back.”

“It was a child’s shirt. For her, it was a pink and green rhinestone shirt that matched her pants,” Smith told the news organization. Smith shared that the shirt was a gifted hand-me-down from one of her friends. 

The principal has since apologized to the family, but the incident has sparked discourse on social media regarding the validity of the teacher’s complaint. Some believe that race is a factor in the story as Smith and her daughter are white while the sorority is predominantly-Black. Others voiced agreement with the teacher’s decision. However, many social media users across TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter, have condemned the teacher’s action, denouncing it as bullying.