A school district in a Michigan city defended allowing a student to display a “Free Palestine” flag on the graduation stage Monday.
Ann Arbor Public Schools took to Facebook Friday to explain what happened and why administrators allowed the graduate the moment of “free speech”:
Superintendent Jeanice Swift said the student “who displayed a flag during the walk across the stage to receive her diploma at the Skyline Commencement Ceremony on Monday evening exercised her free speech rights and was not interrupted, impeded, or censured in any way in carrying out her display.”
Swift said there were “no repercussions” from the school or district after the provocative stunt.
“We respect free speech, and this student’s speech was not impeded or restrained,” she said in the statement.
But some of the student’s supporters objected to it being removed from the replay of the television broadcast:
RAISE AWARENESS FOR WHAT MY HIGH SCHOOL AND ANN ARBOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAS DONE‼️ FREE PALESTINE AND CONTACT THOSE MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO pic.twitter.com/Ua0p5deg65
— leftist leslie knope (@frickallfish) June 11, 2021
One girl complained the student was “retaliated against” after the school “took down all video of her commencement.”
With an eye roll, she went on to claim “some Zionist parents from the community complained, [so] they took down all pictures of her from their school Facebook.”
Swift admitted, “In the rebroadcast and on our social media, we chose to omit the display to focus on the one priority for the occasion.”
The superintendent added, “We feel that allowing the student to exercise her rights to free speech during the ceremony and preserving the intended focus of the graduation in the replay was the best course of action.”
School board member Jeff Gaynor told Mlive the board has received “around 200 emails” criticizing the district, “mostly via a form letter circulated online,” which appeared to be generated from the activist’s video above.
Kyle Olson 2021-06-13 06:38:24
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