Send a Letter to the Washington State Educational Leaders

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 offensive.

The students at Eastlake High School in Sammamish said they were told at the last minute they couldn’t come to Friday night’s game in the patriotic colors.

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.

Take action below and send an email to Eastlake High School principal Chris Bede demanding that he support student’s rights to patriotic expression in public schools.

  • Enter your information below to send an email to Washington State educational leaders supporting student's right to patriotic expression.

  • Dear Principal Bede,

    I am writing today to express my serious concern and disappointment regarding Eastlake High School's recent decision to prohibit students from wearing patriotic colors during a football game on September 10th.

    While you have explained how your staff arrived at this decision, you have failed to explain how you will prevent this mistake from repeating itself in the future.

    Aside from being a clear violation of the First Amendment and infringing on your student's right to self-expression, your staff's decision sends a message that the United States is a place and an idea that we should be ashamed to celebrate.

    While no country is perfect, the ideals that serve as a foundation for the United States bring all Americans together to form a "more perfect union" like no other nation.

    The action taken by your staff impacts not just the Eastlake High School community, but also your fellow Washingtonians and Americans, demoralizing our national pride, the ideals of unity, liberty, and justice for all.

    I hope that you will consider publishing a public apology to all Americans offended by your actions on such a solemn occasion and share with us how you plan to ensure this kind of mistake does not repeat itself in the future.


    Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
    Lake Washington School District

    Eric Laliberte, President
    Lake Washington School Board

    Mark Stuart, Vice President
    Lake Washington School Board

    Cassandra Sage, Legislative Representative
    Lake Washington School Board

    Chris Carlson, Director, District Two
    Lake Washington School Board

    Siri Bliesner, Director, District Five
    Lake Washington School Board

Support this Cause