Another day, another “political correctness run amok” story.
This time it’s Glen Rock, New Jersey where the public schools won’t be taking part in this year’s American Legion coloring contest.
Why? According to a school district official, it’s because of concerns over the depiction of guns in the image promoting the contest.
The New Jersey American Legion hosts the Americanism Award coloring contest every year. It’s for fourth and fifth graders across the state. Kids color a picture that’s distributed by American Legion posts to local schools. Winners are picked at the local, county and state levels.
Glen Rock students have participated in past years, but this year the Glen Rock American Legion post was told by school district officials that the image was “inappropriate”.
Ken Frank is a veteran and Post 145 vice commander. He shared his thoughts with a local paper.
“We are very upset, and we feel disrespected,” said Frank. “There wasn’t any reason given, and there hasn’t been another school in the state, that we’ve heard of, that’s refused to use the picture.”
According to the Board of Education President Sharon Scarpelli, it was an administrative decision and the board was informed of the decision.
“The administration had asked if they could be provided with a different picture. They were concerned over the display of guns in the picture,” she said.
The picture that was so offensive features four service members and a banner paying tribute to the centennial of the veteran service organization. It’s crafted around the “Four Pillars of the American Legion” and features three uniformed soldiers from 1919, 1965 and 2019, carrying guns from their respective eras and a nurse from 1941.
The picture also shows the POW/MIA logo and a “battlefield cross,” a rifle stuck upward in the ground alongside a soldier’s boots and helmet.
Frank told a local paper Hamilton School notified him that the school wouldn’t participate unless a different image was picked.
Superintendent Bruce Watson said it was a districtwide decision. The coloring contest was not discussed in open session during the board’s Feb. 5 meeting and did not appear on the closed-session agenda.
The Legion, of course, has absolutely no plans to change the picture. After all, it’s a veteran organization and features the military. According to the American Legion’s website, the deadline for counties to submit entries to the state is March 19.
It’s not the first school to have a problem with images of those who serve carrying freedom tools.
In 2017, a school in Glastonbury, Connecticut made national headlines for similar reasons.
In honor of Veterans Day yesterday, an art teacher in one of the schools worked with students to make silhouettes of a soldier kneeling at a grave marked by a rifle and a helmet.
Why? Because the teacher was educated enough to know you don’t win freedom with diplomacy. You do it by killing bad guys.
But a couple of other teachers were so triggered by the site of rifles that they demanded they be removed.
So what did the principal do? Did the principal embrace patriotism and encourage teachers to actually teach about history?
Nope. He called for the removal of the silhouettes.
Apparently your freedom is only worth defending if you don’t have to SEE what it takes to defend that freedom. In the minds of some teachers educating your children, freedom is fought for not in the battlefield – but in the streets holding signs that say “resist”.
I’m sure many of these educators have children. So it begs the question – what do they do when their kids see cops?
Do they cover their kid’s eyes? Do they rush them off to a safe space so they don’t have to be exposed to the real world?
Yet many of these same educators have absolutely no problem plopping their own kids in front of an iPad and letting them watch whatever movies they want, filled with images of guns and cocaine and booze.
Let’s be crystal clear. Freedom isn’t free. Freedom was earned through the blood of our soldiers. It’s protected by those soldiers and by all those who serve and protect our communities and our country.
True Americans know that if you fail at securing freedom…if you fail at holding the thin blue line… there is no participation trophy. There is only darkness.
Perhaps instead of trying to rewrite the history books, we should once again start teaching kids what it means when freedom is lost.