According to a former Conservative Party candidate from northern Manitoba in Canada, her 17-year-old cousin was suspended from school when she refused to wear a Remembrance Day poppy containing a rainbow in support of LGBT+ causes.
A report from The Post Millennial indicated the teenager was suspended for distributing a poster outlining her reasons for refusing to wear the rainbow poppy.
Cyara Bird of the Little Black River First Nation, whose grandfather was reportedly a World War II veteran, wrote on Twitter that her 17-year-old cousin Natalie and another student said they would not wear the rainbow poppy at Stonewall Collegiate as they preferred to wear the traditional red-and-black poppy, with Natalie reportedly saying the rainbow poppy was “disrespectful” to the World War II veterans in her family.
My 17-year-old cousin was suspended today… want to know why? Her choir teacher was demanding that the choir wear rainbow poppies during their performance in the Remembrance Day ceremony. She and another student rejected that idea, and both were suspended for “hate speech.”
The poster allegedly distributed by Natalie read:
Never seen something so disrespectful in all my days. What does LGBTQ have to do with the war? Red represents Blood, Black represents widows and loved ones, green represents land the blood was spilled on. NEVER change the poppy. Way to un-do centuries of blood sweat and tears all because you needed to do the dishes. Keep it in your pants nobody wants or needs to see it.
You’ve got a whole month dedicated to the LGBTQ community, but the people who legitimately made a difference and died so that we could live decent lives get one day. You don’t need a poppy, you just clearly want attention. One day to celebrate the real hero’s how about we don’t make it about your sexuality for once?
If you didn’t make such a big deal about it and force people to make it a part of their lives it would be no problem.
Natalie told The Post Millenial, “It all started when teachers, counselors, and some students said we should wear the rainbow poppy … I typed up papers on a computer, printed them off, and taped them up in the halls. As I was putting them up, teachers were taking them down. I watched as they took them to the office and gave them to the secretary.”
Natalie said she was taken to the principal’s office; she continued, “They accused me of hate speech and endangering the physical safety of the group of individuals (LGBT students). They asked me what I was thinking, and I told them everything … I said I was just voicing my beliefs and morals. I got to the point of almost crying, but I didn’t. I had to be the voice for all those families who were greatly disrespected and offended … So I asked why? Why am I being suspended and punished for expressing my feelings? And they said everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, opinions, and way of life. So I asked, why am I not?”
Remembrance Day is observed in the countries and states of the British Commonwealth to honor the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty since the end of the First World War.
Traditionally, the day was observed in Canada by people wearing a poppy made of paper or fabric red material and a black center, as The Post Millenial observed. Funds collected from the sale of the poppies have gone to the Legion Poppy Fund for financial assistance to veterans.
Bird added on Twitter, “I should add that the school screamed at her to stay quiet about it.” She posted a message from Natalie’s father reading, “Good the school was trying to hush her about it they literally both screamed at her she tried to voice record them on her phone and they tried to take it away from her.”
Cyara Bird told the Post Millennial, “At 17, you are growing into yourself, you are learning to speak out against things you think are wrong. What kind of message does this send to a young woman? That they are not supposed to speak out against something they disagree with.” She added, “The pride we have because of our grandfather fighting in World War II is strong. We all wear poppies. [Natalie] was not opposing wearing one—she just did not want to wear one she felt was disrespectful to the veterans.”
Board chair Alan Campbell of The Interlake School Division told LifeSite News, “In the interests of maintaining confidentiality, we would not publicly comment on any student matter whatsoever.” He added, “But what I can tell you is that at no point did a staff member of Stonewall Collegiate or Interlake School Division direct, mandate or suggest that any student should have to wear a rainbow poppy.”