Across America, shameful school officials are still banning students from honoring their family members’ patriotism and service in the military.
Two weeks ago, you may have read in this column that Lt. Colonel Sherwood Baker was not allowed into his daughter’s high school last year because he had the audacity to wear his uniform to an appointment with the Rochester Adams High School counselor to ensure his daughter was enrolled properly.
Principal Brian Pickering refused to allow 18-year-old Brandon Garabrant to wear his newly earned Marine uniform to his 2013 graduation from ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough, N.H.
A year later, the town held his funeral in the same high school. He was killed by an I.E.D. in Afghanistan.
I cautioned that, unfortunately, there are thousands more institutions in this country for ignorant, “politically correct” functionaries to again blame the wrong people for ill will.
Last week in Gresham, Ore., a middle school student was forced to decide between changing his shirt that depicted a traditional soldier memorial and suffering in-school suspension.
Alan Holmes’ shirt is a tribute to his brother, a Marine who served in Iraq. The shirt depicts the traditional field burial image of a weapon inverted into the ground through a boot, a helmet covering the stock.
The “offensive” shirt is also emblazoned with the patriotic slogan, “Standing for Those Who Stood for Us.”
It’s an especially common image at Veterans Day and Fourth of July events.
Alan chose to honor his brother and endure the punishment meted out by Principal John George.
“I was just upset. I was heartbroken,” Alan said. “My brother, he means everything to me. Just being able to help and give back to the people who fought and died for us; it just makes me feel good.”
The school dress code states that students cannot wear anything that promotes alcohol, drugs, tobacco or violence.
School officials told Holmes the shirt was inappropriate because it displays the image of a weapon.
Alan’s shirt promotes solemn remembrance for those who died fighting for our country.
Maybe Jeff Foxworthy, whose name appears on the shirt as his brand, might give the young man some encouragement for choosing to honor his brother over acquiescing to the PC police at Dexter McCarty Middle School.
After all, why couldn’t Principal John George simply explain to young Mr. Holmes and his parents that he views any depiction of a gun to be a fearsome icon of violence even when presented in a traditional salute to Americans who served our country and to please refrain from frightening him with it again instead of rushing to punish the boy with suspension?
Perhaps Mr. George should change the name of his school’s mascot, The Hornets, as the F-18 Hornet is a $35 million weapon of great potential violence, carrying a 20mm Vulcan Gatling gun with a firing rate of 6,000 rounds per minute, air-to-air missiles and bombs.
Imagine a proud Dexter McCarty student wearing a t-shirt adorned with a squadron of THOSE Hornets to school!
Sadly, there’s yet another recent freak-out over patriotism by administrative bureaucrats.
Seagoville High School officials in Dallas punished junior Jaegur Goode for wearing an American flag T-shirt under his hoodie where no one could see it.
An assistant principal asked Goode to lift his sweatshirt, revealing the “offensive” U.S. flag.
The official went all King George on the kid and cuffed him with one day of In-School Suspension (ISS) for violating the school dress code policy.
KDFW-4 TV reported Seagoville High does not require uniforms, only that students wear solid colors. The only exceptions are for school spirit, college logos or shirts supporting the military.
When the TV station showed up at school, the principal reversed the decision, awkwardly deciding the U.S. Flag is not an inappropriate adornment after all.
It’s time for these administrators to enjoy a few days of In-School Suspension themselves, writing on the whiteboard one hundred times, “I will not punish students for respecting our country.”
Rick Jensen is Delaware’s award-winning conservative talk show host on WDEL, streaming live on WDEL.com from 1pm - 4pm EST. Contact Rick at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL