Politics

School to rethink policy after suspending student for NRA t-shirt

A student was suspended for a t-shirt with the NRA logoOn Thursday, Bearing Arms reported that  Andrew Eichorn, an 18-year-old senior attending Flushing High School in Flushing, Michigan, was asked to leave the school over a t-shirt bearing the NRA logo and the phrase, “Keep Calm and Carry Guns.”

In an email to Bearing Arms, Eichorn wrote, in part:

I went to two classes with no problems, and in my third period I was summoned to the office.  I went without hesitation and quickly found out that the school felt my shirt was inappropriate.

I spoke to the assistant principal, Ms. Goldstein. She said I need to take the shirt off, cover it up, or change it and if not, I wouldn’t be allowed back in class. I asked her the reason and she said “because it promotes weapons and violence”. We discussed a lot and I explained that guns are not weapons they are tools, just like a pencil is a tool but could still be used as a weapon, like any other object. And then I asked how a gun can be violent, in order to be violent you need to have emotion and to have emotion you need to be living, so I guess what she was saying is that guns are living and have a mind of their own.

The school’s dress code reads:

Clothing advocating/displaying the use of illegal substances, weapons, discrimination, or violence; advertising hate groups, beer, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs; or containing language or images that are offensive, profane (including acronyms), sexually explicit, or disruptive to the school day, is prohibited.

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But as Jenn Jacques noted, the t-shirt in question did not advocate the use of weapons, it advocated carrying them, which is still legal.

Goldstein refused to discuss the situation with Jacques and Principal Jason Melynchek could not be reached.

“Andrew has never been one to provoke trouble or violence,” Andrew’s father told Jacques. “I am extremely proud of Andrew for not giving in to the demands of Ms. Goldstein and am proud that he stood up for his rights and freedoms. I back him 100% on the decision he made not to comply with the demands of the school, and frankly would have been disappointed if he would have for the reason that I had raised him to be able to decipher right from wrong, and we as a family have always taken our constitutional rights very seriously.”

But it seems the school had a slight change of heart.  On Friday, it responded to Jacques:

The district issued the following press release indicating that it intends to rethink its policy:

The Flushing Community Schools recognizes and respects the rights of all students and families within the Flushing community, including the First Amendment right of free expression. The District’s dress code policy as currently written and implemented as it relates to this situation, was in error.   We apologize to the student and his family.  We will be meeting with the family and their representative to further address this matter constructively.  We will work to clarify the policy to assure a situation like this does not occur again. 

As we enter into the Memorial Day Weekend and honor those who have sacrificed their lives, it is fitting to reaffirm our commitment to upholding all constitutional rights, including that of free speech.

This is a step in the right direction.  It’s time the madness comes to an end.

H/T Bearing Arms

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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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