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Letter: Double standard in schools?
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Dear editor,

Recently Alan Holmes–an 8th grader at Dexter McCarty Middle School in Gresham, Oregon–was suspended for wearing a t-shirt which bore the image of a “traditional soldier memorial” featuring a helmet, rifle, and boots. Holmes wore the shirt out of the pride he has in his brother, who joined the Marines and ended up doing a tour in Iraq at age 19. Referencing the day his brother made it back home safely, Holmes said, “I was proud of him. I remember the day he came home and I was just so happy. I was little but I still remember it, he made me happy.” So Holmes wore a t-shirt to school bearing the image of a soldier memorial and the words, “Standing for Those who Stood for Us.” But Dexter McCarty school principal reacted to the shirt by giving Holmes “an ultimatum”–he could either change shirts or “face in-school suspension.” Holmes took the suspension.

Now we have Jones middle school in Gwinnett county Georgia that has a homework assignment concerning ISIS. The lesson goes into details about ISIS and includes a political cartoon of a man holding a bloody knife but Jones Middle School leaders say it’s an appropriate lesson plan.

My point is this, if we have a zero tolerance for weapons should it not work both ways?? The photo of the 8th graders shirt in Oregon is nothing but a respectful image portraying the ultimate sacrifice of our military members, while the Jones middle school lesson portrays the image of a murderous thug who has just killed someone and has blood dripping off his knife. This needs to be addressed immediately. Whatever school officials approved this needs to be banned from the school system as apparently they lack the common sense to teach. Why are we entrusting what is most valuable to us (our children) to these spineless school officials? Why do we as citizens put up with this type of stupidity, are we afraid of being politically insensitive or do we simply think that there is nothing we can really do to curb this type of hypocrisy. I don’t know about you, but for me, I am fed up with type of stupidity. I am sending this to both school boards as well as our elected officials to see if we can stop this herd mentality. It seems to me that our officials are in fear of offending the Islamic extremists. Appeasement is NOT the answer. We are Americans, we need to pull up our big boy pants and start acting the part!!

Rick Elder