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New Hampshire student is not allowed to wear his military uniform in his senior picture– Muslim headdress is okay

November 4, 2009

  Jordan Westgate is a senior at Merrimack Valley High in New Hampshire. He submitted his senior photo for the yearbook only to be told by the principal that he could not use the picture because it violated school policy. What was Jordan’s violation? He is joining the army upon graduation, he passed basic training last Summer, and the picture that he submitted was him standing in front of the flag, in uniform wearing his army combat hat.

  According to school policy a student is not permitted to wear a hat or use a prop. He wants an exception to be made, claiming that his picture is more respectful than many of the other pictures students have used.

  The school policy has been in place for four years and they are unwilling to make this exception for this fine young man. However, in 2007 the school did make an exception for one student. A Muslim woman was allowed to wear her scarf over her face. Here is what the principal had to say about the exception:

I think there’s a difference with religion,” Jette said. “If a Jewish student came here and said he had to wear a yarmulke (for the portrait photograph), we’d have to look at that

  In today’s age where there has been a “separation of church and state” read into the constitution that does not exist it would seem to me that the religious symbols should be considered more offensive to the principal than the picture of a man wearing his military uniform. Notice the principal example of the yarmulke? I wonder if a student asked to have his picture taken with a crucifix or a rosary would be accepted. But that is a topic for another day.

  It seems to me that the principal is making a political statement with his refusal to allow Jordan to use his military photo. Jordon comes from a military family with a proud military history and he should be allowed to show his pride with his picture.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. LD Jackson permalink
    November 4, 2009 10:03 pm

    This is the kind of thing that leaves me banging my head on the wall. Honestly, I do not care about their policy. If someone is offended by a young man or young woman in their uniform and standing in front of the flag, then so be it. Maybe they should move to another country where the freedoms our young men and women have fought for are not so readily available. Maybe then they would give more thought to what that uniform and their willingness to serve means.


    • November 5, 2009 6:20 am

      The policy was meant to crack down on inappropriate pictures, this certainly is not inappropriate, this is just a statement being made by the principal. It urks the hell out of me!


  2. November 4, 2009 10:27 pm

    I never heard of any school policy that was written in stone, except maybe some weapons policies, and this is no different. The school even cited an example where they might make an exception. This sounds more like an ideological statement than enforcement of a policy.


    • November 5, 2009 6:19 am

      Exactly, this is a stance being made because of the principal’s feelings on the military, not school policy.


  3. November 5, 2009 5:45 pm

    This is absolute insanity and should not be tolerated by those people who live in that school district. I’ve not heard this story before, but let me say it is NOT surprising. Many on the left today hate the military and what it stands for, this principal could fit into this group. This is extreme political correctness!!


    • November 5, 2009 8:35 pm

      It really isn’t surprising, but it sure bothers the hell out of me. How people can hate the military is beyond me.


  4. November 6, 2009 10:56 am

    I know Jordan Westgate (his little brother is actually coming to play with mine today), and I think this is just not right! What ever happened to being proud to be an American?


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