Students at a Wyoming high school took matters into their own hands last week by festooning themselves in the colors of the American flag after the principal and an assistant principal canceled “America Pride Day” over concerns that some immigrant students could feel sad and left out.
The scene of the red, white and blue brouhaha was Jackson Hole High School in Jackson, Wyo., reports the Jackson Hole News&Guide.
In response to a decision by school officials to replace a previously-held “America Pride Day” with “College Day” as part of this year’s homecoming festivities, a large group of senior students and some juniors protested by bedecking themselves with American flag capes, American flag headbands, American flag shorts and all manner of beautifully and garishly patriotic American flag ornamentation.
After school, one kid also drove a diesel truck around the parking lot with a bunch of American flags waving in the breeze.
Jackson Hole High principal Scott Crisp blamed the results of a student survey and his concerns that some students may feel excluded if they see an American flag for the administration’s decision to cancel “America Pride Day.”
“Three times as many students indicated that they were not in support of selecting the title ‘America Day,’” Crisp told the News&Guide. “I’m charged with looking at a school with 660 kids, and I have to ensure that all those kids feel part of a student body. Regardless of the name of the day, we want to ensure that activities of the week…bring our students together holistically as a student body.”
The News&Guide notes that “America Day” had been voted as the third-most popular theme for homecoming week. Each day of homecoming week was supposed to have a theme at the high school. Monday was “Lumberjack Day,” for example. The theme was flannel. Thursday was toga day. Friday was the day to wear school colors.
The community newspaper also notes that, while Crisp pointedly failed to identify the students who might feel left out upon seeing American flags, the surrounding Teton County school district is home to a substantial population of Latino students.
The Jackson Hole High 2015-16 school profile webpage and other Teton district webpages offer the opportunity to translate text into a single alternative language: Spanish.
Jackson Hole High activities director (and assistant principal) Mike Hansen said he favored canceling “America Pride Day” because some students may not feel American and, thus, could feel “targeted and singled out by this day.”
“Maybe they moved here last week. Maybe they moved here last month,” Hansen told the News&Guide, referencing the students who enjoy free education and much else in the shadow of a world-class ski resort.
“We’re trying to balance many different things here,” the activities director added. “We’re trying to be inclusive and safe, make everyone feel welcome.”
Students protesting to replace “America Day” with “College Day” were ironically liable to make some students feel left out.