Football is serious stuff in Texas. Public education in the Lone Star State revolves around this sport every fall, it is truly a Big Deal. So, it might seem easy to pass bad behavior off as just getting in the spirit a tad bit much, but the recent antics of the Birdville High school students were pure dee meanness and hatefulness. As my Aunt Minnie used to say, they were plain "being ugly".
Mark Thomas, the spokesperson for the Birdville ISD, used even worse judgement in his attempt to smooth over his students' boorish behavior: “Eagles rhymes with legal,” Thomas said. “There was no malicious intent in the hearts when they made those posters.”
Oh really, no malicious intent at all? And the signs weren't meant to offend?
No wonder kids today are lacking in manners and maturity when their elders act so stupidly. At least the Carter-Riverside teacher used the opportunity to drive home a great civics lesson.
'Spirit' signs stir emotions at high school game
By LEILA FADEL and DIANE SMITH
Star-Telegram Staff Writers
The signs were supposed to show Birdville High School’s spirit for a game against Carter-Riverside.
“Eagles aren’t legal.”
“Go back to the river.”
“I live in a van by the river.”
Some at Carter-Riverside weren’t amused.
“I know a lot of people didn’t get it,” said Carter-Riverside cheerleader Maria Ortega, who wrote a letter to the Star-Telegram about the Oct. 20 incident. “The ‘Eagles aren’t legal’ says it — that we’re all illegal aliens.”
Ortega, 17, said she is Mexican-American. But she said many of her classmates are immigrants.
The incident has prompted Birdville school district officials to set a new policy that will take effect at Friday’s game against Azle: Students’ signs must encourage their team, not put down the opposition.
Birdville school officials have said the signs were not meant to offend.
Students have written a letter of apology to Carter-Riverside principal Maria Sanchez, who said she considered the event an isolated incident.
“I think that says a lot for those kids,’’ said Mark Thomas, the Birdville school district spokesman. “They went the extra step and said, We’re sorry we offended you.”
When students realized that they had offended Carter-Riverside students, they took the signs down, Birdville district officials said.
“Eagles rhymes with legal,” Thomas said. “There was no malicious intent in their hearts when they made those posters.”
The Birdville High spirit club has asked principal Susan Fisher to form a committee to screen signs before they are put up at games.
The incident spurred a discussion during a senior social studies class at Carter-Riverside. Teacher Marcie Warner said her students were upset.
“We were just studying civil liberties and civil rights and it was like taking a step backwards,” Warner said. “I was proud of my students for wanting to do something about it.”