High School Students Forced To Issue Apology To Opposing Team, Wait Until You See Why

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RWC News High School Students Forced To Issue Apology To Opposing Team, Wait Until You See Why

How could this patriotic display be offensive?

At one point or another, most people have gone to a sporting event. You might wear a jersey or certain colors to show support for your team. It is often a group event, sharing the excitement and comradery with others.

High school can be a particularly important time for this kind of sportsmanship and team spirit. Besides the fun, it can give opportunities for bonding, friendship, and learning. One high school in Iowa recently learned a harsh lesson that many will not agree with.

When Valley High School went to a basketball game against Des Moines North High School they wore red, white, and blue. Theme nights are common occurences at sporting events.


Freshman Dayna Dunnwald told reporters, “We had a USA theme, which we’ve done many times in the past.”

According to Des Moines North students and faculty, the USA theme is not only unacceptable but offensive. Even a former alumni of Valley joined in, “ALL participating should have been pulled and banned from ALL VHS extracurricular events for the remainder of the year! As a parent, I’d be mortified that my son or daughter thought this way, acted in this fashion and refrained from taking a stand against this 21st century inexcusable behavior!”

The outrage seems extreme for the situation. Pride in your team and your country isn’t usually met with such backlash. In this case, political correctness and demand for “respect” took center stage to high school students enjoying a game.


“A lot of people were very upset about it. Even if that was their theme for the game, I feel like they should have switched that because everyone knows North is a more diverse school,” North sophomore DeNasja Spencer said.

Families and fans overwhelmed social media demanding answers, “Kids are kids, I get it, but I do have questions. I want to know why.”

The basis for all these complaints is that many North fans felt that the colors were not just a USA theme but instead were “meant to be a political statement aimed at mocking the more notably diverse North High School.”

North High School self identifies as a “diverse” school. They reportedly have a large refugee population. Why this might preclude celebrating America is still unclear.


Data for the school and surrounding area give a picture of what North High School considers its ethnic differences.

The Census Bureau states that between 2011-2015, 17.3% of households spoke a language other than English at home. The graph below show the composition of the households from the Des Moines school district website.

RWC News High School Students Forced To Issue Apology To Opposing Team, Wait Until You See Why

English Language Learner population breakdown from Des Moines School District

To be clear, Valley High School is also in the Des Moines area. As a mother from one of the schools indicates, this doesn’t matter.

“For the supporters of one team from a primarily white part of town to paint themselves as the ‘team of the USA’ it strongly implies that the other team, the less white team, is less American.”


Valley students, presumably under the direction of their school administrators, drafted a letter of apology and hand-delivered it to North’s principal.

“We are deeply sorry if we have offended anyone in any way. We have traditionally dressed in such a fashion for great games such as the one last night. Everyone here at Valley has immense respect not only for your team and players but for your community as a whole. Please know that our intent was in no way to offend or demean—just to support our own team in a way we have done before.”

Besides claims of racism, some posted on the school’s Facebook page;

RWC News High School Students Forced To Issue Apology To Opposing Team, Wait Until You See Why

Facebook exploded with the controversy

Many denied that accusation. Other posts questioned why the patriotic display is offensive; after all, this is America. Some comments were more direct.

RWC News High School Students Forced To Issue Apology To Opposing Team, Wait Until You See Why

Not everyone understood or supported the outrage over the red, white, and blue color scheme

What lesson does this teach these high school students? Several, and they are not positive. Children should absolutely be taught to respect diversity; America is a melting pot of cultures. This incident does not accomplish that goal.

Instead, students of Valley were taught that they will be punished and shamed for pride in their country. They were educated in political correctness and the stifling effect it can have on a culture when it is abused. There was even a sad example of liberal values, “tolerance” at all costs, even at the risk of losing your own identity.

North High School, on the other hand, had a winning night even though they lost the game. There was a clear demonstration of how to abuse the concept of racism for any perceived wrong. The different ethnicities were enlightened on how to manipulate the system by “playing the race card.”

In the end, both schools lost. The rush to appear tolerant has taken over the world and the result has been a loss of self-value. It has become popular to sacrifice appropriate pride in order to make others happy. There should be nothing wrong with celebrating your country and your school as long as there is respect, which there was at this game.

A Valley High student, Mallorie Paige Sander, sums it up well;

“This country is the United States of America and our country colors are red, white, and blue no matter what color of skin you have or what race you are. The intentions to offend anyone by wearing USA themed clothing was nowhere in the thoughts of any of our student body, why would it be? We all live in America.”

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Emma Laftchu
I began reporting for RWC News on October 12th of 2016. Prior to that I was a reporter for WOKR Radio.

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