by Jason DeWitt | Top Right News
An outstanding Iowa athlete and student has been suspended from playing three football games in the fall because his parents say the school absurdly misinterpreted a symbol of school pride — as a symbol of “white pride”.
The problem started with a social media photo of Blair Van Staalduine, a star student tight end at Marshalltown High School, but is now is being labeled a racist by his principal, his mother Cathy Van Staalduine told the NBC news affiliate, WHO-TV.
In the picture Van Stallduine is dressed in all white clothing and flashes a “W” sign with his fingers.
The principal asserted that the “W” sign was a racist “white pride” gang-type sign used by ne0-Nazi skinheads.
Top Right News staffers scoured the web searching for “white pride hand sign” and the like shows many fists, some Hitler salutes, some Los Angeles gang signs — but nothing that resembles a “W.”
The outfit was part of Marshalltown High’s spirit week festivities, where students were asked to dress up in one of the school’s colors — red, white or blue. As a junior, Van Staalduine was asked to wear white.
“The actual school chose the colors that each grade would be wearing. Juniors wore white. So Blair, of course, being active in the school, dressed from head to toe in white,” Cathy Van Staalduine told the TV station. “Somebody took a picture of him doing a ‘W’ sign because they were wearing white. Blair says if they were wearing orange, they would have done an ‘O’.”.
Van Staalduine said the principal called her a racist when she attempted to discuss the suspension with him.
The mother is withholding the photo with the “W” for a jury, if the school does not agree to settle. The family is demanding the school lift the suspension and issue a public apology.
Students are rallying behind Blair and think the controversy is ridiculous. If true, the principal, on the job less than 3 years, should be given his walking papers.
Above: Principal Aiddy Phomvisay, the target of the family’s lawsuit, called both mother and son “racists”.
Below: Blair Van Staalduine is a standout athlete in 3 sports, below leading his school to the state championship in the 400m freestyle.
Census figures from 2010 show that the quintessential small-town Iowa hamlet of Marshalltown has a population that is almost 85 percent white and less than three percent black, with no history of racial tensions or incidents.
Outraged? You can contact the district’s superintendent of Schools to complain about Principal Phomvisay at his email: Dr. Marvin L. Wade, Jr.
Video Credit: WHO-TV