Andrew Eichorn, 18, is a senior at Flushing High School in Flushing, Michigan, and he was suspended over a t-shirt. The blue “Keep Calm” shirt’s full statement has triggered a reaction from the school district, who found the teens attire to be very inappropriate, but not everyone agrees with their decision.
Andrew still doesn’t’ know what the big deal is about his shirt. He said, “It’s just a word. That’s the way I look at it. I don’t see how it could be offensive to anybody or anybody take it wrongly.” When Andrew went to school, he was able to go to the first few classes with no problems, but during his third class, he was summoned to the principal’s office where he was told he had two choices: turn the shirt inside out or find a new one. Andrew refused.
“She told me you’re either going to have to change, turn it inside out, or go find a new one. You’re not going back to class. I said I’m not doing any of those because it’s my First Amendment right,” said Andrew. The assistant principle then proceeded to suspend Andrew because his shirt was promoting violence and weapons, and apparently, it was inappropriate in the eyes of the school officials.
Andrew didn’t go quietly. “I asked her how does it promote violence? She said because guns are dangerous. I said for something to have violence, it has to have emotion and for something to have emotion it has to be living. So the very essence of her telling me a gun has violence means you’re telling me a gun is living. There has to be an actual person using the gun,” says Andrew.
Not only did he make the school look ridiculous, he wrote a letter to the NRA (National Rifle Association), who responded much as Andrew did. The shirt is not advocating using guns violently, it advocates the carrying of a gun.
Andrew’s father Mark Eichorn is proud of his son for not removing the shirt and standing up for his rights. “Until people start waking up and realizing that we need to do something more about these criminals and thugs and punish them instead of good law-abiding citizens,” says Mark Eichorn.
Andrew says that there is no reason for people to fear a gun. The reason our society is so afraid is because no one knows how to use them anymore. The school district did admit that the school’s policy was administered “in error” and issued an apology to both Andrew and his family.
The Flushing Community Schools recognizes and respects the rights of all students and families within the Flushing community, including the First Amendment right of free expression. The District’s dress code policy as currently written and implemented as it relates to this situation, was in error. We apologize to the student and his family. We will be meeting with the family and their representative to further address this matter constructively. We will work to clarify the policy to assure a situation like this does not occur again.
As we enter into the Memorial Day Weekend and honor those who have sacrificed their lives, it is fitting to reaffirm our commitment to upholding all constitutional rights, including that of free speech.
In a world full of overly sensitive liberals who seem to run the schools in America, this is a win for gun owners and gun rights activists. It means one liberal finally realized a word simply isn’t triggering (pun intended) and that they should maybe focus on bigger issues than a non-violent statement on a kid’s shirt.