Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco fourth-grader ditches controversial backpack

The image on Quentin Ferrer’s backpack was deemed inappropriate after a parent complained to the principal.

Special to the Times

The image on Quentin Ferrer’s backpack was deemed inappropriate after a parent complained to the principal.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Quentin Ferrer has a new backpack.

The Richey Elementary School fourth-grader gave up his old bag, which featured a sketch of a scantily clad woman and a snake, after watching his father and the school principal feud over it much of Wednesday morning.

"He said, 'I felt uncomfortable at school. This guy keeps bothering me,' " said Fred Ferrer, Quentin's dad. "He said, 'I don't want you to get in trouble.' So we went out and bought two new backpacks."

Principal Ken Miesner had banned the original backpack after a parent complained about its illustration. Miesner said it caused a disruption and was inappropriate. Fred Ferrer challenged the move as censorship and vowed to fight after the School Board declined to intervene.

The dispute drew attention across the country, including a segment on the Today show with Kathie Lee Gifford.

Ferrer said Thursday that he continued to seek options to protect his son's freedom of expression. But he did not want his son to feel bad about going to school, as was beginning to happen.

He explained that Quentin, 9, took his banned backpack to school on Wednesday, with an embroidered patch over the cleavage and bra strap of the woman in the drawing. Miesner came to the boy while eating breakfast and brought him to the office to take the backpack away, Ferrer said.

The father came and fought to allow the boy to keep the backpack. Some police officers were there, he said, to monitor the situation. At one point, Quentin thought his dad had been arrested, Ferrer said, but that did not occur.

Ferrer said he still thinks the district policy governing student attire is unclear, because it leaves too much discretion to a school principal. He wants to see that changed. But, he added, he does not want to harm his child's education in that pursuit.

School district officials said they consider the matter resolved with the boy's new backpack. Board members have not ruled out reviewing the policy in the future.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at

Pasco fourth-grader ditches controversial backpack 11/04/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police


    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimee:

  2. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot


    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of
  3. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  4. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.