Commemoration ceremony in honor of 9/11 victims was can canceled because some may find it “racially insensitive.”
A Washington state high school reportedly called 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.”
The students at Eastlake High School in Sammamish wanted to coordinate the audience to wear red, white, and blue at a patriotic-themed football game but were reportedly blocked, according to Jason Rantz, a radio host on KTTH 770/94.5FM.
A student told Rantz that the unnamed staffer told him 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.”
One mother emailed school principal Chris Bede to explain, and the station posted a screengrab of his response.
The student said, “At this point, I was fairly upset and confused as to why the theme was changed so I went around asking students in our leadership.”
Bede wrote, “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.”
“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,” The communications director for the school district, Shannon Parthemer, said.
The outlet reported, “Parthemer tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that there is no implication towards the opposing team. She points to one unnamed staff member as responsible for the decision to cancel the theme.”
Parthemer reportedly said, “We have followed up with the staff member on decision-making processes.’”
Bede also said he was surprised by the decision. “I understand your perspective and was not looped in to this conversation until an hour ago,” he told a student in an email reviewed by the station. “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.”