Washington High School Scraps Plans for Patriotic Attire During 9/11 Tribute, Says it Could Be Seen as ‘Racially Insensitive’

Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Washington, canceled plans for students to wear patriotic attire on 9/11 over concerns that wearing red, white and blue could be perceived as “racially insensitive.”

Plans for students to dress in a Patriot’s Day theme for a football game at Memorial Stadium were scrapped at the last minute over complaints by an unnamed staffer.

Though some students still dressed up, it was not endorsed or supported by the school.

In an email from Principal Chris Bede obtained by KTTH, he stated that the colors could “unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently.”

“Our leadership teachers made this decision and explained it to students,” Bede wrote. “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.”

Multiple students expressed dismay over the decision.

“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,” one student told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “They had explained that 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.”

Another student said, “I was instantly upset, and frustrated. 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? I have seen other [Lake Washington School District] football teams that held a flag or did some sort of memorial recognition towards 9/11, but apparently we weren’t allowed to even wear USA colors.”

KTTH reports that Associate Principal Darcie Breynaert shared the same statement with another parent who demanded an explanation.

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