A Washington state high school reportedly had to call off a student-led tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks after an unnamed staffer said the commemoration could “unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently,” according to a report.
Students at Eastlake High School in Sammamish wanted to get the audience to wear red, white, and blue at a patriotic-themed football game, but it got blocked, according to Jason Rantz, a radio host on KTTH 770/94.5FM. A student told the show that he was informed that 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.”
The station posted a screengrab of an email from one of the school’s associate principals to a parent that said she understands the “sacrifice and values our flag represents, but I think they [school leadership] just did not want to unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently.”
“Since it was not a home game, there was no opportunity to have an announcement about Patriots Day and to share why students were dressed in red, white and blue,” Shannon Parthemer, the district’s communication director, told the station.
The school’s principal, Chris Bede, was taken “by surprise” at the notice about barring the students from wearing the color-coordinated theme.
“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,” Bede reportedly told parents.