Students were banned from honoring the victims of 9/11 by wearing red, white and blue as a tribute at a high school football game because some people could find it ‘racially insensitive’.
Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Washington, canceled the theme ‘at the last minute’ after a complaint was made by an unnamed staffer. A student told his show he was informed the ‘red, white and blue was going to be seen as racially insensitive and may affect people in a way that we will not understand and for that reason that we were to change our theme’.
Several pupils who were not born when 9/11 happened had requested the opportunity to commemorate the memory of the victims at the Patriots Day-themed game on the day before its 20th anniversary. Some students still attended the game wearing red, white and blue but the school did not officially endorse 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. 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.”
“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. In the game itself, the visiting Eastlake team edged Rainier Beach by a score of 17-16.