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Washington school cancels red, white and blue-themed 9/11 tribute football game

Social media is livid with Eastlake High School canceling the tribute last minute, calling their decision 'offensive'
Eastlake High School is under fire for canceling a 9/11 tribute (Google Maps)
Eastlake High School is under fire for canceling a 9/11 tribute (Google Maps)

Students at a Washington school were forbidden from wearing red, white and blue meant to honor 9/11 victims at a high school football game. The reason behind the ban was the risk of some people finding it "racially insensitive". The incident happened at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Washington, where the theme to commemorate the fallen was canceled "at the last minute" after an unnamed staffer made the complaint. 

News of this comes after a Washington University student Fadel Alkilani went viral for snatching around 3000 miniature American flags from a 9/11 memorial. The committee chair member later also defended his actions saying he wasn't in violation of any university regulations. Alkilani was captured on video picking out the flags and stuffing them in blue trash bags. His peers have since demanded his expulsion from the school of engineering and medical sciences. As for the Washington high school where the planned tribute was canceled at the last minute, some students still showed up in colors from the American flag even though the school did not officially endorse the tribute.


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The pupils who were planning the tribute weren't even born at the time of the tragedy that killed close to 3000 people after al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They wanted to commemorate the tragedy at an all-Patriots-themed game scheduled on Friday, September 10, just a day before the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks.

Eastlake High had a match scheduled against Rainier Beach that had previously been canceled and rescheduled to Friday, September 10. The school, however, sent out an email ahead of the match asking students not to show up in colors of the flag. A copy of the mail obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH shows the school principal wrote that wearing red, white, or blue could "unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently."

People make rubbings of the names of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that are inscribed along the memorial pools at the National 9/11 Memorial on September 11, 2021 in New York City (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

One of the students who allegedly attends the school told the show 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." A leaked email exposed a conversation one of the school's associate principals had with a parent, where she claimed she understands 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."

Eastlake High principal, Chris Bed, did not further explain why people might take offense at people flaunting colors of the flag. He was, however, taken "by surprise" about the decision to cancel the theme at the last minute. District communication director Shannon Parthemer said: "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." Without disclosing the name of the staffer, the principal told 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."

Outrage on social media against the school's decision has been intense too. "Do democrats hate America? You damn right they do. Some ahole at the Eastlake High School in Samerish canceled patriot day to honor the victims of 9/11 because they thought some might find it racially insensitive and might cause offense. R U fckn kidding me? Nazicrats. Smfh," one user complained on Twitter. Another wrote: "Eastlake high school in Sammamish, Wa is a disgrace. Shame on them for turning their backs on the evil of 9/11/01." One more offended user claimed: "I was honored to be able to attend the 9/11 Memorial Services at Ground Zero last Saturday. Eastlake High School’s actions most definitely offend me."

More people chimed in with suggestions; "Paying tribute to the memories of those murdered offend only evil people," wrote one. Another heated user argued: "So they canceled the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in fear of offending a few people, and didn't give it a second thought that canceling it might offend everyone else? How about hold the event, and those who might get offended can stay the eff home." One kept it simple and tweeted: "It’s offensive to me that you canceled the tribute."