by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Administrators at a Washington state high school canceled a student-led plan to wear red, white, and blue at a football game in commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Seattle radio host Jason Rantz reported Monday that Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Wash., squashed the plan, telling parents it may be racially insensitive.
“Our leadership teachers made this decision and explained it to students,” Eastlake principal Chris Bede wrote to one concerned parent. “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 school did not respond to Rantz’s requests for comment on who would take offense to the colors of the American flag.
Some Eastlake parents have speculated that the administrators who kiboshed the plan thought red, white, and blue clothing would offend the opposing school’s football team, which is majority black.
Eastlake High School students, who were not yet born on Sept. 11, 2001, came up with the idea to wear patriotic clothing at the football game. Many are discouraged and disappointed by the school’s decision.
“If Eastlake is all about including everyone’s beliefs and being together as a ‘family,’ then why are we being told we can’t represent the country we live in?” one student told Rantz.
Given the ideological drift within public schools across the country, this latest incident shouldn’t be too surprising. Conservative students already feel the pinch.
While the pandemic remains a real concern, another very worrisome issue will face our nation’s high-school students when they return to the classroom: whether conservative students will be treated fairly if their views and ideas do not comport with the overall zeitgeist of particular schools.
Healthy debate, based on a real diversity of ideas, rests at the very foundation of civil society and our educational system. But this core value is under threat today, with many Americans self-censoring and silencing themselves due to the rampant cancel-culture epidemic and other forms of discrimination based on ideology.