Like most Americans over the weekend, many took the time to remember what 9/11 means to them and how that day changed America forever. For Washington state high schoolers, they wanted to honor those lost lives by wearing red, white, and blue for a patriotic-themed football game, but sadly – they were refused due to how it could “unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently.”

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First reported by Jason Rantz, host on 94.5FM, the student event was canceled by an unknown staffer at the Eastlake High School in Sammamish at the last minute. One of the students involved with the event said he was told the “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.”

While officials at the school have remained silent on the matter, a picture of an email sent from the associate principal said she understood the “sacrifice and values our flag represents, but I think they [school leadership] just did not want to unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently.”

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Although silent, Shannon Parthemer, the district communication director, told reporters, “Since it was not a home game, there was no opportunity to have an announcement about Patriots Day and to share why students were dressed in red, white and blue.” And apparently, Principal Chris Bede was surprised when he saw the theme for the 9/11 memorial had been canceled. 

Bede did tell parents, “I do want to clarify that schools do not have a right to ban students from wearing anything as long as it is not lewd, vulgar etc.. And the theme of red, white and blue definitely would not fit into that category.” 

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As for who would have been offended by the decision to wear red, white, and blue to remember the lives lost on 9/11, neither Bede nor the district communications director could give an answer.