Let that be a lesson to students at Red Wing High School! More than a dozen of them were suspended on Thursday for defacing school property. So what exactly did the little punks do to raise the hackles of Superintendent Karsten Anderson? Draw swastikas? Mark their turf with spray-painted graffiti tags?
Nope. They drew streamers in red, white, and blue on doors and windows and scattered small American flags on school grounds. Oh, the humanity!
The incident occurred last Monday as part of Homecoming Week. One student and arguably the ringleader is senior Bryce Reps, who told station WCCO that he and his classmates were demonstrating their love of country. “I’m planning to go into the Air Force,” Reps said.
As to the charges that he and his cohorts defaced school property, he maintains that they used “erasable paint,” probably meaning water-soluble.
Anderson, however, views the stunt as a “senior prank” — and if truth be told there does seem to be a suggestion of cynicism at work. Reps’s protestations of patriotism notwithstanding, the student participants covered almost every window, some outside doors, and even a skylight with paint. All told, the event was something more akin to TP-ing property than it was to decorating it.
Yet, there may be more to the demonstration than meets the eye. On Sept. 11 this year, the school elected not to mark the anniversary of 9/11 as it has done in past year. Reps, for one, took the decision personally. He wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper and organized a petition that was signed by 400 students to force a school charter always to mark that day with a moment of silence.
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