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OLATHE, Kan. — A five-year-old Olathe girl is the talk of the town after protesting a coloring assignment. Emma Burton refused to participate in a class assignment where her class was told to color a Jayhawk — KU’s mascot.

The assignment was part of the class’s celebration of the state of Kansas. Emma asked her teacher for a picture a Powercat, K-State’s mascot, because that’s where her parents attended college. But her teacher told her there weren’t any Powercats to color. That’s when Emma threw the Jayhawk in the trash.

Emma’s teacher told her mother about her actions after school. At home, Emma’s mother, Julie Burton, made a bargain with her daughter. She would color the Jayhawk she threw in the trash, but she could also color a Powercat that her mother printed — but only if she wrote an apology letter with it. She consented, but announced the next day she would go to school wearing a K-State shirt.

Emma Burton's Powercat Apology Note


The following day, Emma returned to class — wearing purple and white — with her Jayhawk coloring sheet and the Powercat apology letter.

After it was officially recognized by her teacher, later that day Emma trashed her Jayhawk coloring sheet at home.