Facing intense backlash, a New Jersey elementary school reversed a decision to not take part in an American Legion coloring contest due to an”inappropriate” image.
Within hours of announcing the decision not to participate, angry reactions caused the school superintendent to “pause” and reconsider.
Glen Rock’s American Legion post was initially told by school officials that students would not be participating in the annual contest because of an “administrative” decision brought about by the offending image: a coloring page featuring American soldiers armed with guns, NorthJersey,com reported.
“We are very upset, and we feel disrespected. There wasn’t any reason given, and there hasn’t been another school in the state, that we’ve heard of, that’s refused to use the picture,” Ken Frank, the Post 145 vice commander, told the Bergen Record before details were known.
According to NorthJersey.com
This year’s coloring page features the “Four Pillars of the American Legion,” embodied in four service members and a banner recognizing the centennial of the veterans service organization. Three uniformed soldiers from 1919, 1965 and 2019, carrying guns from their respective eras, are pictured, along with a nurse from 1941. The page also contains the POW/MIA logo and a “battlefield cross,” a rifle stuck upward in the ground alongside a soldier’s boots and helmet.
The president of the Board of Education eventually explained the ridiculous reason for the decision.
“The administration had asked if they could be provided with a different picture,” Sharon Scarpelli said. “They were concerned over the display of guns in the picture.”
— James Pyles (@jamespyles) February 15, 2019
You mean the guns Veterans use to protect us and ensure our freedoms?? What the hell is wrong with people? Some real wimpy soy folks there.
— R&R (@RoryGilligan1) February 14, 2019
That decision was district-wide, according to Superintendent Bruce Watson who subsequently sent out a late-night statement reversing the move.
“This has caused me to pause,” the statement, sent by spokeswoman Angela Crawford, read, according to NorthJersey.com.
“Perhaps I had too much concern for the impact of the picture. Today we look at everything thru a different lens when it comes to our students,” the statement continued. “There was no disrespect intended and now after listening to parents, I will reverse this decision and allow the pictures to go home for parents and students to decide if they wish to compete.”
Here is the picture pic.twitter.com/P37AXDOG5O
— relaxing (@Jeffreyuhler1) February 15, 2019
Twitter users were outraged over the school district’s ignorant first decision.
— Chris Russell (@ChrisRussell_NJ) February 14, 2019
Because our wars were fought with strongly (yet socially conscious and culturally sensitive) worded letters?
— Walter Hargain (@WalterHargain) February 13, 2019
Anyone supportive of the original decision needs to be airdropped into North Korea. Like it or not, men and women trained to do violence on *your* behalf keep you free.
— Wilhelm (@msucrah) February 14, 2019
Now an American Legion coloring book is not safe for school, because it depicts guns held by soldiers.
? I’m running out of hair to pull out
— Μολὼν Λαβέ (@M0L0NL4BE) February 14, 2019
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