Seattle-area HS calls off 9/11 football tribute because some could be offended, report says

An unnamed staffer at a Seattle area high school reportedly called off a planned student-led 9/11 tribute at a football game because it might “unintentionally cause offense.”

Students were gearing up, as it were, to wear red, white, and blue colors on September 10, the day before the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack, in a unifying Patriot’s Day theme to honor those who perished, before the idea was nixed.

According to local talk show host Jason Rantz, a frequent guest on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the Eastlake High School principal seemingly indicated that he was initially unaware of the Friday morning decision to cancel the tribute.

In an email to one of many concerned parents in Sammamish, Wash., Principal Chris Bede reportedly wrote that “Our leadership teachers made this decision and explained it to students. I know tomorrow is 9/11 and understand the sacrifice and values our flag represents, but I think they just did not want to unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently.”

The senior class president told KTTH’s Rantz that students disagreed with the cancellation which left them very disappointed.

“Students are upset. And some parents now speculate school officials thought their majority-minority opponents would be offended by American pride,” Rantz reported.

School officials have not, as yet, offered a specific explanation as to why the theme was deemed potentially offensive, however, or why they opted not to reverse a lower-level decision.

In an email to a parent, Bede reportedly implied that students could nonetheless make their own apparel choices.

“I understand your perspective and was not looped into this conversation until an hour ago. I do want to clarify that schools do not have a right to ban students from wearing anything as long as it is not lewd, vulgar etc. And the theme of red, white and blue definitely would not fit into that category.”

The school district communications director seemed to try to justify the decision by noting that there was no way to provide context during an away game (even though the field was presumably equipped with a PA system).

“Since it was not a home game, there was no opportunity to have an announcement about Patriot’s Day and to share why students were dressed in red, white and blue,” read a statement to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

“We have followed up with the staff member on decision-making processes,” district communications director Shannon Parthemer added.

In the game itself, the visiting Eastlake team edged Rainier Beach by a score of 17-16.

Another Seattle-area high school made headlines recently when it tried to make student-athletes wear ankle monitors without parental consent to enforce COVID-19-related social distancing. The school subsequently shelved the idea.

Twitter users are weighing in on the Eastlake controversy. Here is a sampling of responses:

Robert Jonathan

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