WAYNESBORO, Pa. – A second grader in Pennsylvania has been expelled after a teacher caught him defacing an American flag during recess, The Waynesboro Record Herald reported on Friday.
“This kind of delinquent behavior is completely unacceptable and it’s something that we as a community simply will not tolerate,” said Principal Willard Kraft of Hooversville Elementary School. Kraft said that shortly after lunch on Tuesday, October 18, an observant teacher found the student on the outskirts of the playground using a purple crayon, rather than a blue one, to color in an American flag he’d drawn on a sheet of construction paper.
“We were very lucky that none of the other children were exposed to it,” said Kraft, who later referred to the illustration as a “tasteless assault on American values.” Kraft said the offensive sketch was immediately confiscated and the seven year-old boy was turned over to a school resource officer.
While school officials had initially sought to suspend the juvenile, news of the defacement spread quickly and irate parents began phoning the school and calling for his immediate expulsion. “The phones were ringing off the hook,” Kraft recalled. “Many students have parents who are veterans so this was something that hit close to home for a lot of folks.”
Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Roger Harrison is one of those folks. Harrison, whose son Chester is enrolled in the fourth grade at Hooversville, said he’s pleased with the school’s decision to expel the boy. “If you ask me, the little s*** got off easy,” Harrison told Real News Right Now. “Where I come from, flag desecration is a crime; it don’t matter how old you are.”
Others, like child psychologist Dr. Nancy Weiner, say such behavioral problems are often a sign of deeper and more complex issues. “This was a cry for help,” Dr. Weiner explained. “This hapless child was reaching out in the only way he knew how. The real tragedy was that in doing so, he made a mockery of those who gave their lives defending our way of life.”