A Massachusetts high school has determined that there is no room for patriotic verve in its annual spirit week.
Wellesley High School holds a spirit week ahead of its annual pep rally and Thanksgiving football game against Needham, which CBS News
indicated is one of the oldest Thanksgiving public school football rivalries in the nation.
Each day of spirit week has a theme, and students dress up accordingly. The themes are conceived by the school’s Student Unification Program and approved by the administration,
Themes this year included Throwback Thursday and Wild West Wednesday.
Olivia Spagnuolo, a member of the Student Unification Program, told WFXT that the group proposed a “USA Day” theme, but it was shut down.
“The administration was not going to let this happen,” said Spagnuolo. “It wasn’t a topic for discussion.”
Spagnuolo indicated, “They said it was not allowed because it separated people at the school.”
Wellesley Public Schools had no problem previously separating people, particularly on the basis of race.
WPS defended holding an event in 2021 for which a teacher circulated an email notifying prospective attendees, “This is a safe space for our Asian/Asian-American and Students of Color, *not* for students who identify only as White,”
reported the Boston Globe.
A Black Lives Matter flag is featured in photographs on the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion
page. The placement of such identitarian flags outside classrooms is celebrated in the WPS Equity Strategic Plan.
Facing backlash to the axing of “USA Day,” WHS Principal Jamie Chisum penned an apologetic letter to the community, saying, “The high school Administration decided not to go forward with that spirit theme because it felt really different than the other themes kids came up with for the week. We felt that the topic has been politicized beyond our school and we wanted to avoid politics.”
“We’ve had Mismatch Monday, Tropical Tuesday, Western Wednesday, Team Jersey Thursday and today was Fitness Friday. Monday is Monochrome Monday and Tuesday is Pajama day,” continued Chisum’s letter. “Spirit Week is intended to be a light and fun way for our students to get excited about our pep rally and Thanksgiving Day football game.”
“We acknowledge that the impact for some people has been just the opposite of our intention and that we have inadvertently politicized this activity. I am definitely sorry for any negative effect this has had on kids and families,” added Chisum.
According to the WHS Student Unification Program, this is not the first time “USA Day” has been vetoed by the administration.
Fox News Digital
indicated that Chisum did not respond to a request for comment.
“I think it’s absurd,” one parent told WFXT. “I think it’s sad and depressing we’re at this state that celebrating the United States is political.”
“We came here to experience all of that, so I’m really shocked that’s going on,” said Michael, a parent who moved to the area from Australia. “We love the American dream, freedom, we’re all for it. I want my daughter to experience the full thing.”
WFXT reported that despite the cancellation, numerous students and parents ultimately turned up at school wearing red, white, and blue.
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