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Students Suspended for 'Patriotic' Display on School Property
RED WING, Minn. (WKRC) -- Students said they wanted to show their love for their country, but a superintendent believes it went a little too far.
The result? More than a dozen students are suspended for drawing on doors and windows and scattering small American flags outside their high school.
It took place Monday at Red Wing High School as part of Homecoming Week, but its a back-and-forth thats gone on for weeks.
Red, white, and blue streamers, small American flags and erasable paint, Bryce Reps said.
Hes a senior and took part in the senior prank.
Some seniors covered almost every window, some outside doors, even the skylight with the words "USA," "GOD BLESS AMERICA," and "NEVER FORGET 9/11," with the erasable chalk. Only thing is, the washable paint comes off of glass & plastic, but not wood.
School officials say a number of school doors were permanently damaged, but the student's parents have offered to pay for the repair costs.
We have to take these things seriously, Red Wing Schools Superintendent Karsten Anderson said.
Theres a bit more to this red, white, and blue demonstration that dates back to last month.
When the high school didnt mark the anniversary of 9/11 as it had in years past, Reps said he took it personally.
Im planning to go into the Air Force, Reps said.
He wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper and got a petition signed by 400 students. The school then decided to always mark the day with a moment of silence.
Whenever theres a concern by students or parents, we hear them out, Anderson said.
Then, this week some students wanted Monday to be called Merica Day, without the A. Teachers dont think they knew the word carries negative connotations.
Thats why we wanted a National Pride Day instead of a reference to a South Park cartoon, Anderson said.
Even after kids were told they could dress up, some seniors went ahead with their plans to decorate, in their own words.
My last day of school was yesterday, Reps said.
Bryce has been suspended for five days. He hopes the punishment doesnt affect his future plans. Reps told reporters his suspension is more severe than for those who show up to school drunk or have drugs or drug paraphernalia on them.
Its a senior prank, not the crime of the century, or anything along those lines, Reps said.
Last year, the Red Wing school district settled a lawsuit that came from an unsanctioned dress-up day.
A student claimed racial discrimination when some kids dressed up for what was called Wangster Day. That girl has been paid $90,000 by the district.