The principal of a high school in Salem, Ore., refuses to allow one of her students, Shea Riecke, to post a picture of her brother, a Marine, on a classroom bulletin board. Here is the photo. (Shea’s brother, Cpl Bill Riecke, is on the right.)
Photo credit: Marine Corps Moms
Normally this sort of thing would pass unnoticed. But Shea’s mother, Connie Riecke, is a blogger. On March 15, she wrote:
My 15 year old daughter, Shea, out of sheer pride, took a picture of her brother to her high school to share with a teacher. Her brother, Bill, also a graduate of Douglas McKay High School in Salem, Oregon, is a US Marine and a decorated veteran of the Iraq war. He has been deployed twice and will be returning this summer for his 3rd deployment to Iraq. Shea has had the unique experience of supporting her brother during his deployments and the true realization of what war means to the families of our Marines and soldiers in harms way.
Shea, a freshman at McKay, has become acquainted with one of her teachers that her brother also had while in school. Mr. Costa is a social studies teacher and football coach. Bill being a football star while in school and lettering all four years is well remembered by Mr. Costa. Mr. Costa has several pictures of McKay graduates hung in his classroom and Shea asked that if she brought a picture of Bill would he also hang it with the others. He of course said yes.
Shea proudly printed a picture of her brother and took it to school. The picture she selected is of her brother in Iraq, in combat uniform and holding a gun. Just, a typical picture of a Marine at work in a war zone. Mr. Costa asked the school administration for permission to hang the picture due to the graphic nature of the picture. He was denied, based on the fact that a gun is included in the picture. From there I’m told it was taken to the Salem-Keizer Administrative offices and it was scanned and the gun removed in order for it meet the guidelines of political correctness.
During an interview with KATU News, the school’s principal, Cynthia Richardson, asked, “What message am I sending to my students if I post that picture?” But as KATU notes, the school’s policy pertaining to weapons does not say anything about pictures of weapons. Indeed, the school’s mascot, a Royal Scot, carries both a sword and a shield:
Photo credit: KATU News
When KATU News asked Richardson about the mascot’s imagery, she said, “He has a sword. (That is) so true. We might have to revisit that.”
Richardson has offered to post the picture of Riecke’s brother with the guns digitally removed, KATU reports, but the Rieckes say that won’t do:
“It’s not just a picture in dress blues. It is a picture of real life and there are guns. And he just wants everyone to know that the war is still going on and it’s real life,” said Shea Riecke.
“We’re very proud of him,” said Shea’s mom, Connie. “We’re proud every day.”
(Hat tip: Steve.)
– Connie Riecke’s blog, Marine Corps Moms
– Principal Richardson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Kathryn Baker, the Superintendent of Schools, can be reached at email@example.com
– Heads Bunker: ” MORE leftist PC lunacy: Now even PICTURES of guns might lead kids to evil”
– KATU poll, Should a Salem-Keizer student be allowed to display a photo of her Marine brother holding a firearm on a classroom bulletin board? (Current results: Yes 90%, No 10%.)
– Principal Richardson apparently is changing her tune.
Update: Deb at Marine Corps Moms has new developments. Thanks to the huge public outcry, the school has retreated from its zero-tolerance and allowed Shea to post up a different picture of her brother holding his weapon. Take a look.
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