Little Arkansas girl’s desire to thank cops grows into Adopt-A-Hero program

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JASPER, AR – In a country where the thin blue line has been torn by left-wing agitators, progressive Democrats, and liberal mainstream media, little nine-year-old Natalea Decker decided it was time to do something about it.

What started as the child’s desire to say thank you to first responders has led her to start a program in Arkansas to allow children to recognize their hometown heroes.

Natalea’s father works at the Newton County Jail in Western Arkansas. She wanted to give Christmas gifts to her father’s colleagues at the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. Her mother and her Girl Scout Troop began helping her with the project, and the idea of Adopt-A-Hero came to the tiny scout.

Natalea’s age did not shield her from the hate some groups have expressed against law enforcement, and she wanted to do something to let these heroes know they were appreciated. Natalea explained:

“I realized not that many people like cops, and don’t want to give thanks and love so I wanted to give thanks and love.

“It’s important because they do a lot for our community.”

Natalea’s mother, Tiffani Decker, said that when her daughter first thought of giving the gift to her local first responders, she discovered there was no such program in place:

”We made several calls and realized there was not a program set and she was pretty upset. I said well, what if we make our own.”

The small project started just focusing on Newton County. The plan was to assign children to a hometown hero to “adopt” and send a thank you.

Through the program several agencies have been adopted and can be assigned to a child. First responders commonly ask for basic gifts like pens, notepads, snacks, and things to keep in their response vehicles.

But what started as a small project for her own region has grown through three states with the help of social media.

Her mother said:

”We have roughly 300 heroes over Boone County, Newton, Carroll, Searcy, Madison, Baxter, Marion County all have been adopted so far.”

The program has led to children “adopting” heroes in agencies across Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. There is no indication that the growth will stop there.

Newton County Sheriff Glen Wheeler said the program thanks men and women who deserve a thank you:

“It puts us in a unique situation compared to a lot of sheriff’s offices because my guys have to be well versed in a lot more than your typical law enforcement.

“We’re a very rural community, which means we’re a very poor community. My men and women don’t do this for the pay, they’re invested and care about this community.”

 

Natalea is thankful her idea grew into such a successful and needed program to let first responders know that they are important and appreciated:

”Thank you for helping us with Adopt-A-Hero, it started with this little heart to this big, amazing heart .

“I’m so thankful and I couldn’t have done it without you!”

 

 

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Washington school bans “controversial” Thin Blue Line flag, but BLM and Pride flags still allowed

September 30, 2021

 

MARYSVILLE, WA – A teacher at a middle school in Marysville was ordered to take down a Thin Blue Line flag that was hung up inside of her classroom, with school officials telling her that it was a controversial symbol that made students feel unsafe.

Yet the school still allows for the likes of Black Lives Matter and Pride flags and messages to be displayed from inside of classrooms.

According to a report from Jason Rantz, the flag removal order was handed down by school district officials to a teacher at Marysville Middle School.

The teacher had the Thin Blue Line flag hung inside of her classroom as a means to show support for police officers, yet the school district’s human resources department alleged that the flag is a “political symbol” that could cause a “disruption” in the classroom.

However, a double standard seems to exist – in that Pride and BLM flags can remain being displayed inside of the school.

Chris Sutherland, the brother of the teacher who is also a former police officer with the Marysville Police Department, claims that the existence of this double standard is rooted in anti-police sentiments coming from school staff at the middle school.

It all started with a simple Thin Blue Line sticker that the teacher had placed on her laptop, once again to show support for the profession and her brother. At the time of the sticker being placed on the laptop, an assistant principal at the school objected to the sticker.

A human resources document pertaining to the mere sticker debacle noted that the assistant principle approached the teacher with “concerns about how students, families, and community members might interpret what the image is intending to communicate, and that this interpretation may cause a disruption to the learning environment.”

Despite there being initial objections over the sticker, the school reportedly dropped the issue.

However, when the teacher hung a Thin Blue Line flag inside of the classroom with photos of her brother posted around it – then another assistant principle got involved and ordered the flag to be taken down.

Sutherland told Jason Rantz that this order was delivered with the repeated message of possibly upsetting students:

“They told her that it’s controversial to have that flag up. That it makes kids and staff feel unsafe, which to me, that does not make sense at all.”

The teacher reportedly received a “Letter of Clarification” from a district human resources representative regarding concerns over the display of the flag inside of the classroom.

These concerns outlined in the letter noted “about the impact of this political symbol on students, staff, and families of Marysville Middle School” and how an assistant principal at the school “had heard concerns from other staff members about how this political symbol might negatively impact the overall professional work environment.”

Said letter from the district’s human resources department mandated that the teacher “refrain from using the ‘Thin Blue Line Flag’ symbol” completely – stickers and all. And in the event the teacher decides to go against the grain, it could “result in further disciplinary action.”

This “Letter of Clarification” proclaimed that the district supports police but wouldn’t offer a firm explanation on why the Thin Blue Line flag is somehow being construed as a “political symbol”.

But an all the more confusing aspect regarding this disallowance over the propensity for the Thin Blue Line flag to be considered a “political symbol” and how it could disrupt the learning environment – BLM flags, imagery and the sort is still permitted, Sutherland stated:

“There’s also, she was telling me, BLM stuff hanging on walls, which she was told is OK. Just for whatever reason, just the Thin Blue Line flag cannot be hung up there.”

One would hardly doubt the framing that BLM is a political movement – as it has been the name and rallying cry amid numerous protests (and riots) that aims to redress policies believed to adversely affect black Americans.

And the same could certainly be said about the Pride flag, as it has been often used as a political symbol in an effort to advance civil rights within the LGBT community in the past. In fact, the same teacher told to remove the Thin Blue Line flag has a Pride flag displayed in her own classroom.

While Thin Blue Line flags have certainly cropped up at various demonstrations over the years as well, there has never really been any sort of desired policy prescriptions aligned with the flag and what it represents.

The school district has not come forward to explain why political symbols for BLM or Pride are permissible, but the alleged undefined political connotations of the Thin Blue Line flag result in a barring of the symbol being displayed in all forms.

Sutherland says that he “can hear in her voice how much it actually hurts her being told to” remove the Thin Blue Line flag from her classroom, saying in their conversations about the matter he finds it “frustrating because I know how much she cares and how much this means to her. For her to have to go through that…it’s just not fair.”

Still, Sutherland says that his sister will continue to push the issue in hopes that she’ll be able to eventually redisplay the flag without facing possible termination – but the whole ordeal with the human resources department getting involved has “left a lasting impression.”
 

 

 

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