FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A Fort Collins high school principal issued an email to parents Tuesday in response to protests surrounding the school’s ban on “Merica Day.”
According to the Fort Collins’ Coloradoan, a group of adults and students gathered early Tuesday outside the school’s entrance to protest the Fort Collins High School’s administrative decision to ban “Merica Day.”
By 9 a.m., about a dozen protesters were present, waving American flags and openly expressing their opinions about the school’s decision.
The school’s student council was responsible for planning the themes for each day of spirit week, which is celebrated the week of Valentine’s Day, said a student member. The council proposed “Merica Day,” intended as a way for students to show their patriotism. But the proposed theme was met with uncertainty by the school’s administrative staff.
Administrators thought the day could be offensive to international students, said the student council member.
Initially, the school proposed “Merica Day” be renamed as “My Country Monday” to allow students to show pride for each of their home country.
But the compromise did not appease many students and parents.
“Isn’t it a shame that we can celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but not our own country?” Jim Winerbrener, a Fort Collins resident, told the local newspaper Tuesday as he protested in cold temperatures. “It’s tragic.”
Fort Collins High School principal Mark Eversole sent an email to parents around 10:52 a.m. Tuesday, apologizing if the ban of “Merica Monday” seemed unpatriotic. However, he stressed that administrators felt “Merica” was a slang tern “often used in a negative stereotypical way to describe life in the United States.”
Surprised by the student body and parents’ reaction to the ban, Eversole said the school has decided to rename the first day of spirit week as “America Day.”