Peyton’s about as Americana as they come and Denver fans are excited about his Bronco debut today against the Steelers. But his jersey isn’t welcomed in certain parts of the state of Colorado. Greeley-Evans School District cites the number 18 as a gang number and, as a result, kids can’t wear Manning jerseys in school hallways.
According to the district, the numbers 13, 14, 18 or their reverses are commonly used by gang members in the area and have been banned in order to curb confrontations, recruiting efforts by gangs and the promotion of gang culture. Unfortunately, Manning’s 18 is associated with the Los-Angeles-based 18th Street gang.
While the four-year-old policy seems harsh, the district says their goal is to “send a consistent message” across the board to all students from elementary to high school. “Because of the prevalence of some gangs in the Greeley area, we are vigilant about keeping gang behavior out of our schools,” the school district said in a statement released. “By banning these displays in our schools, we have reduced the presence of gang activity, intimidation, recruiting and confrontations.”