Students at a Washington state high school football game were banned from wearing red, white and blue in honor of 9/11 victims because some may find it “racially insensitive.”
The students at Eastlake High School in Sammamish said they were told last minute they couldn’t come to Friday night’s game in the patriotic-themed colors, according to KTTH radio station.
“They had explained 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,” one student told the outlet.
The students had been promoting the event on social media, calling on attendees to “dress in your USA best.”
In an email sent to parents, Principal Chris Bede and Associate Principal Darcie Breynaert blamed the move on teachers — and insisted the reasoning had been explained to students.
“Our leadership teachers made this decision and explained it to students,” Bede wrote.
“I know tomorrow is 9/11 and understand the sacrifice and values our flag represents, but I think they just did not want to unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently,” the email continued
The school did not elaborate specifically on what offense could be caused.
“I was instantly upset, and frustrated,” one student said.
“If Eastlake is all about including everyone’s beliefs and being together as a ‘family,’ then why are we being told we can’t represent the country we live in? I have seen other [Lake Washington School District] football teams that held a flag or did some sort of memorial recognition towards 9/11, but apparently we weren’t allowed to even wear USA colors.”
Another student said they opted to not go to the game at all in the wake of the decision.
“I was fairly upset and ended up not attending the game … [It] was really kind of [confusing] as to why the topic was so controversial that we couldn’t wear that clothing,” that student said.