Jackson Hole High School administrators canceled the homecoming tradition of America Day this year, but many students still donned their red, white and blue on Wednesday.

The senior class and many juniors protested Activities Director Mike Hansen’s decision to put a stop to the tradition by wrapping American flags around their shoulders, sporting shorts with stars and stripes and even driving a diesel truck around the parking lot waving American flags after school.

Hansen said he was worried the event made some students feel shut out.

Parents took to social media to show their support for the civilly disobedient students and disparage the school’s “political correctness.”

“It’s homecoming week and our school administration thought it was too ‘offensive’ to have an America Pride Day! So this is my kids answer to that!” Ted Dawson said with a Facebook post of his kids adorned in patriotic colors. “Where have we gone so wrong! I don’t care what race or religion you are, you live here, benefit from the schools, enjoy tax benefits or whatever — your [sic] an American or at least you better be!”

Hansen said he wasn’t against the school supporting patriotism, but after meeting with the student council and hearing comments he saw that a number of students didn’t feel American and felt “targeted and singled out by this day.”

The district has a large Latino population, though administrators didn’t point to any group.

“Many different students could have felt singled out,” Hansen said. “Maybe they moved here last week. Maybe they moved here last month.

“We’re trying to balance many different things here. We’re trying to be inclusive and safe, make everyone feel welcome.”

Principal Scott Crisp said that it was not the spirit of the theme, but that a student survey noted that it might have been the name itself that caused some students to feel excluded.

“Three times as many students indicated that they were not in support of selecting the title ‘America Day,’ ” Crisp said. “I’m charged with looking at a school with 660 kids, and I have to ensure that all those kids feel part of a student body. Regardless of the name of the day, we want to ensure that activities of the week … bring our students together holistically as a student body.”

But students voted for America Day. It was the third most popular theme.

Some students felt replacing it with College Day was more marginalizing.

“What if you can’t afford college?” 17-year-old senior Harry Burt asked. “There’s a lot of kids here that can’t afford college. College is not an option for them. It’s more discriminatory.”

Henry Jones, a 17-year-old senior considering a Montana State University trade school over conventional college, said he just would not have participated in the activities if he did not have an alternative to College Day.

“I’m not offended,” he said. “I would have just worn my regular clothes.”

Contact Jason Suder at 732-7062 or entertainment@jhnewsandguide.com.

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(12) comments

Haywood Jablomie

The district has a large Latino population, though administrators didn’t point to any group.

I am Hispanic AMERICAN. Hispanic/Latino Americans are as patriotic as any other demographic of Americans. Perhaps by "Latino population" you're referring to ILLEGAL ALIENS. If so, why should anyone care what trespassers in America think??

Haywood Jablomie

The proper response by the gonadless principal to anyone saying they were "uncomfortable" with America Day was a loud "tough s**t."

But, no, wimpy liberals would rather offend 99% of Americans than the 1% of America-haters. I'll bet the word "Christmas" is banned at JHHS, too.

Chad guenter

From the article...
" he saw that a number of students didn’t feel American and felt “targeted and singled out by this day.”"

WOW! If they live here what do they feel they are?????

Laurie Spencer

My son graduated from JHHS in 2009. In 2007 we won an undefeated football state championship. It was a fantastic year, the entire town came to the championship game first 1 in 26 years. The principal we had retired. Because of this we were able to get a fantastic new stadium built. When my son graduated we had 9 prsident scholars. Most hs will not have one. I lived here with my boy, parents & many best friends. I have since moved back to Laguna california. This state has become a pit because of illegal Mexicans that are invading the area. Now my wonderful town has done the same. How dare them. It is because illegal Mexicans. 30 million dollars was spent on that new elementary school the new K classes are all mexicians. This is an expensive area for a reason. They are ruining the town just like the cites and the states of this country. This is why we need a Donald Trump. Stop the Libs and the illegals from ruining what has taken decades and roots to build in Jackson Wyoming. Most of those kids do not even graduate.

jeff birmingham

We just got home from JH Sunday. My family has been coming to JH for the last 10 years for 4 to 6 a year spending a lot of money. We fell in love with JH and the nice people we met there over the years. and have. R SHOULD I SAY NOW HAD plans on buying a house there in the next few years. BUT IF THIS IS THE WAY THAT THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY SEE THIS COUNTRY'S FLAG AS A DISGRACE. I THINK WE CAN FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO SPEND OUR MONEY. It's not ok what y'all did it's a slap in the face of every man and women that has died so the one's that come to this country can have the same benefits that the rest of us r so lucky to have. THIS IS A VERY SAD THING FOR ME TO HAVE TO READ THE DAY I GET BACK FROM A PLACE I LOVE. The school should fire who ever made this VERY BAD DECISION ON THERE PART. THE USA FLAG IS NOT A DISGRACE AND IF PEOPLE THAT COME HERE SEE IT AS ONE THEN THEY SHOULD GO BACK HOME. I'm sure that the kids that y'all r referring to are only able to live in JH by government subsidies. Because most people can not afford to buy are rent there. I read the paper last week that a bed room not a house just one bed room in a house was going for 800.00+ month and you know as well as i do JH has a big housing problem. So please tell us how these people can afford to live there WITH OUT OUR GOVERNMENT TAX DOLLAR SUBSDIES PAYING FOR IT????????? SO IF OUR FLAG OFFENDS THEM THEY CAN GO BACK TO MEXICO AND YOU SHOULD GO WITH THEM BE YOU SEE THIS COUNTRY AND ITS FLAG AS SHAMEFUL. I was coming back to JH in XMAS for 3 weeks like we have for the past 10 years but i think i'll take my money some where else that doesn't see this country's flag as a disgrace. YOU PEOPLE ARE SICKENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Johnny Marmelstein

I live in the second largest communist country in the world, California, and not many would try to get away with something like this. It always amazes me when progressive educators try to impose their beliefs on students and their families. If a Christian activities director (I have been an activities director) tried to eliminate Christmas and call it the "Birth of Christ Celebration," the world would be on fire! The ACLU, PFAW, FFRF and every other far left organization would be screaming about this. But, anything anti-American, anti-traditional values, anti-law-and-order, anti-religion, anti-patriotic, etc., is applauded and celebrated by this cabal of liberal propagandists. Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Fortunately for the good people of Jackson Hole, our young people have confirmed that they understand what has made our nation great and have once again demonstrated that there remains a slight beacon of hope for our future. I applaud the young men and women of Jackson Hole.

Shirlee Rogers

There are many thoughts I have had on this issue..but Proff Scott McV from Arlington, TX probably said it best. I get a little cray when people say they don't want to support our country. I invite those who cannot fly our flag, say our pledge to leave!!
I love Wyoming-always have, please don't go looney like Colorado-Where will I go to vacation?![beam]

Scott McVittie

As a born-raised New Yorker where there are more ethnic representations than Wyoming has probably ever seen and the fact that in my college classrooms where I am currently teaching Introduction to Speech Communication along with Business and Professional Communication I have, in one class of 24 students 19 who represent different countries, nationalities and languages.

I find the action and closed-mindedness of Mr. Hansen and apparently the school itself not only reprehensible and offensive such an attitude would get him fired in any other state where I have been an educator since 1969.

MEMO TO MR. HANSEN: Please go to YouTube, pull up Red Skelton and watch very closely a monologue that great man did entitled "The Pledge of Allegiance." Personally I think every student, administrator, teacher and parent in your community should be required to see that classic video.

While I am on my rant, it behooves you to see David Barton's video/book "Setting The Record Straight: American History In Black & White." ALSO, do a Google search for Oklahoma City, OK radio station KTOK AM and dial up a "rant" by Mr. Rick Roberts entitled "I want my country back."

I do believe Mr. Hansen and others in your community need a reality check.

Dr. Scott McVittie
Arlington, TX

Don Pettygrove

Perhaps Activities Director Mike Hansen should take the role of teacher and leader and make this a teaching moment by instructing the students why they should show respect for the country that is giving them a free education and has done more for more people here and in the rest of the world than any other. Patriotism, like other subjects, doesn't just come to students, they must be taught. By taking a vote as was done, it shows how dire the need for education on the greatness of the USA is. If any of them don't think that is the case, then maybe they should leave this country for a time and experience what they have by missing it. Short story, his actions are disgraceful.

william teichman

Well stated Cody. The school administrators should be ashamed of pushing their Liberal insanity on the students. It's time for changes in Jackson Hole and the whole country as well.. Wake Up America.

Shirlee Rogers

Well put. Blessings!

Cody Brinton

Is it so much to ask that folks appreciate, let alone assimilate to the country they chose to live in- the one that is providing there education, safety, and well being? As a school and as a nation we need to be clear -you may come and join us but you cant change who we are--- if you can't pledge allegiance to this great nation why are you here? The politically correct answer is not socially correct-I find it bad manners to object to America day when it is America that is providing for you and I find it insulting as a tax payer the lack of gratitude for the opportunities so freely given- lets hope gratitude and patriotism are returned to our school system- and parents explain to their kids it's opportunity we came here for and we should be grateful for that, no matter our origin...

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