WELLESLEY, Mass — In a letter to parents and students, Wellesley High School said they canceled Friday’s “USA” theme as a part of spirit week to avoid controversy and politicization.
Spirit Week at Wellesley High is meant to unify the school ahead of their Thanksgiving football game. Students dress up and match each day’s theme.
Some themes this week included Throwback Thursday and Wild West Wednesday.
Olivia Spagnuolo is a member of the school’s Student Unification Program. Each year, the group comes up with daily themes. Their ‘USA Day’ theme was quickly shut down.
“The administration was not going to let this happen,” said Spagnuolo. “It wasn’t a topic for discussion.”
Spagnuolo added, “They said it was not allowed because it separated people at the school.”
Principal Jamie Chisum apologized for the pushback the decision created, explaining in a letter to the community:
“The high school Administration decided not to go forward with that spirit theme because it felt really different than the other themes kids came up with for the week. We felt that the topic has been politicized beyond our school and we wanted to avoid politics. We’ve had Mismatch Monday, Tropical Tuesday, Western Wednesday, Team Jersey Thursday and today was Fitness Friday. Monday is Monochrome Monday and Tuesday is Pajama day. Spirit Week is intended to be a light and fun way for our students to get excited about our pep rally and Thanksgiving Day football game.”
“We acknowledge that the impact for some people has been just the opposite of our intention and that we have inadvertently politicized this activity. I am definitely sorry for any negative effect this has had on kids and families. "
The school said students were able to wear their patriotic gear, but the theme would remain Fitness Friday.
Some students and parents still wore their red, white, and blue Friday.
“I think it’s absurd,” said one parent picking up their child. “I think it’s sad and depressing we’re at this state that celebrating the United States is political.”
The school’s Student Unification Program says this idea has been vetoed by school administration in past years as well.
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