In the latest #StopWhitePeople2016 news, two Montana students wore shirts with the words "White Power" and "Trump 2016" as well as a Confederate flag on them to their high school's "Color Wars" themed pep rally.
Granted, Polson High School's "Color Wars" isn't supposed to be as bad as its name suggests. The theme has been a part of the school's homecoming spirit week—without any problems, until now—for at least 10 years, according to the Missoulian. "Color Wars" was just one of the themes for homecoming week; other themes included "Rockers vs. Rappers," "Superheroes vs. Villains," and "Dress for Success." The "Color Wars" theme was intended to allow students to show class pride by wearing a specific color. According to a statement from the school district, freshmen wore green, sophomores wore blue, juniors wore white, and seniors wore black.
Unfortunately, two juniors on the "white" team took the innocent "Color Wars" theme way too far and showed up wearing shirts with "Trump 2016 White Pride" written on the back. The female student also had "White Power" on the front of her shirt, while the male student's shirt had a Confederate flag and "Redneck" written on the front, according to the Washington Post.
In a statement, Polson School District Superintendent Rex Weltz claims that staff "immediately took steps to remedy the situation" as soon as they found out about it, which was after students had shared pictures on social media. Those pictures, Weltz acknowledged, "have circulated far past Polson."
KPAX reports that both students have been suspended for the shirts, which Weltz called "inexcusable" and "offensive and inappropriate."
The ACLU of Montana is investigating the incident. "The Confederate flag and slogan 'White Power' are symbols of hate and intolerance," the ACLU statement said. "This incident sadly reflects how we are failing our children in teaching them mutual tolerance and respect for those of different backgrounds."
The Washington Post reports that Polson, Montana has a population of around 4,500, three-fourths of which is white, despite the city and the high school being on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Montana Public Radio reports that, at the homecoming football game the day after the incident, a group of about 50 people protested outside of the school's field. Dustin Monroe, founder of the Native Generational Change advocacy group in Montana, organized the protest. Monroe said, "Our kids should be able to go to school and not worry about people saying one race is better than another."