Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Patriotic Day Challenged in School

A high school in Colorado recently tried to prohibit students from wearing patriotic colors. The student council at Fort Collins High School chooses dress-up themes for each day during the school’s so-called “spirit week,” and this year, the council suggested ’Merica Monday, where students could wear red, white, and blue. However, the school administrators rules that theme was not acceptable because they weren’t comfortable with a dress-up day where some students might feel uncomfortable about others’ obvious patriotism. The school said that immigrants and international students might be offended. The student council then suggested “My Country Monday” instead, where students could dress for any country, but that proposal was also shot down.

It’s ridiculous for students to be told they can’t celebrate their patriotism at school. Interestingly, Fort Collins High requires its students to participate in the Mexican Cinco de Mayo celebrations. “Spirit week” dress-up days, however, are completely voluntary, and students would have been free not to participate in the ’Merica Monday theme. Student council members and parents rightly pointed out to the school administration that the students have a right to free speech.

After students and parents launched a public protest – and the media began to contact the school – the administrators backed down, and students were allowed to celebrate ’Merica Monday. I’m glad Fort Collins High came to its senses, but this sort of story shouldn’t be happening. American students in American public schools should never be told they can’t celebrate America. If foreign students take offense to that, they have no business being in the United States. I’m tired of political correctness, I’m tired of people claiming to be offended, and I’m tired of seeing anti-Americanism accepted and deferred in our schools.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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