Kids are routinely suspended for making hand gestures that resemble guns. Apparently, that’s not the only shape you can get in trouble for.
During school spirit week at a rural Iowa high school in Marshalltown, students were told to wear the school colors, which are red, white and blue. Each color was assigned to a grade.
Blair Van Staalduine is a sophomore at Marshalltown High School, and the sophomores were told to wear white. So, he dressed in all white as he was told, and to top it all off, in a picture he posted to social media, he made a W with his hands.
When word got to the principal, he claimed the student’s hand gesture was an obvious show of racism and white pride. It’s OK to be proud to be black. If you’re white, the only feeling you’re allowed to have is abject shame.
But that wasn’t even what this was about. He was wearing white, because that’s what the sophomores were told to wear. And he made a “W” hand gesture, because, well, he was wearing white. That’s it. It had nothing to do with race. The Daily Caller reported:
A star high school athlete in rural Marshalltown, Iowa has been suspended for three football games this fall because he posted a social media image of himself enthusiastically festooned from head to toe in white clothing during school spirit week. In the photo, he made the letter “W” with his hands — which in this case stands for white.
The student is Blair Van Staalduine, reports Des Moines NBC affiliate WHO-TV.
The student’s parents say the the principal of Marshalltown High School called Van Staalduine a racist after concluding that his hand signal was a white pride symbol.
The parents have now responded to the suspension and the charge that their son is a racist by threatening to sue.
“We were appalled,” his mother, Cathy Van Staalduine, tol WHO-TV. “We were appalled and so was he. Absolutely. Because the furthest thing from Blair is being racist.”
She noted emphatically that the “W” sign was for the color her son was assigned.
“Blair says if they were wearing orange, they would have done an ‘O,’” she said.
The mad mother said she talked to the principal, and he managed to call her a racist to her face.
The Marshalltown High School principal is Aiddy Phomvisay, according to the Marshalltown Senior High School website.
The family is threatening to sue the school unless the principal reverses the suspension and makes a public apology. We’ll have to wait and see if he agrees to those terms.