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.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 27, 2021
Twitter users are weighing in on the Eastlake controversy. Here is a sampling of responses:
If he made such a decision because he was worried about someone being offended by wearing our countries colors on our country soil during the remembrance of a terrorist act on our country then no one should have confidence in his ability to lead
— Know Name (@ZION_010101) September 13, 2021
Wearing the colors of our nation might offend some as we commemorate a tragedy that happened here? Even if you have issues with policies, beliefs, and attitudes, which I do, it was still a national tragedy that occurred and those who died should be remembered and honored.
— Lesley Neiman ♀️ ✡ 🌈BLM (@lneiman415) September 13, 2021
It’s so damn stupid catering to all these feelings. I get my feelings hurt sometimes and then I get over it. This is out of control. People gotta grow up!
— April V (@avanham31) September 13, 2021
If you are offended by such things, you are probably in the wrong country. If you are obsessed with not offending people with patriotic acts, you are probably in the wrong profession.
— Philip Morrill (@PHMorrill) September 12, 2021
My kids go here. Many parents and students are outraged and we will make sure we are heard!
— Mindi Jacobsen (@MindiMortgage) September 13, 2021
Wierd that supporting your own country is now offensive. What has happened to the US of A.
— Richard Loveridge (@selnor1983) September 13, 2021
Ok school, answer these questions and then I will decide if you should have the benefit of the doubt:
1) First Amendment, was it discussed?
2) If it was any other group of people or event would you have made the same decision?
3) If not now to remember, when?
— Mike Fleming (@quantico240) September 13, 2021
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