A high school dance will keep its “American Pride’’ theme after a debate over concerns that people of other nationalities might feel excluded, the school superintendent said Tuesday.
Assistant superintendent Carol Pilarski said in an interview with Boston’s WHDH that school advisors suggested students abandon their chosen “American pride’’ theme in favor of “maybe a national pride theme, so they could represent their individual nationalities. Maybe it should be more inclusive and it should be national pride.’’
Students complained to WHDH, which quoted one student, Ethan Embry, calling the decision “ridiculous.’’
The story gained widespread attention because of the idea that Lexington, which played such a crucial role in the American Revolutionary War, would ever opt out of celebrating American pride.
But superintendent Paul Ash told Boston.com on Tuesday that as far as he knows, the theme was never officially changed. He said Lexington was “very proud of its history’’ and that administrators were “delighted’’ that students had chosen an American pride theme.
Still, he acknowledged a debate.
“There was discussion. I’m not going to deny that,’’ Ash said.
“Official policy is made by the high school principal. And she didn’t change it,’’ he added. “I talked to the high school principal and I believe her.’’
He declined to comment on Pilarki’s remarks, adding that he was not involved in the discussions.
“As you can imagine, superintendents of schools don’t get involved with school dances,’’ he said.
School principal Laura Lasa did not return calls from Boston.com Monday or Tuesday.
But her office referred Boston.com to a statement, which is also posted on the school’s website:
Lexington High School students have selected a theme of American Pride for a junior/senior class dance that will be held on April 10, 2015 as scheduled. As the birthplace of the American Revolution, Lexington is proud of our historic roots that have helped to shape the values of our diverse and inclusive community today.
In a voicemail to Boston.com, Ash stressed Lexington is proud of its history:
“Lexington is very proud of its history, where the shot was heard around the world in 1775. We celebrate Patriots Day every year with a reenactment of the revolution. It’s the birthplace of democracy, birthplace of our nation, and we’re very proud to be Americans. We’re very proud of our country. Lexington is a place of diversity and inclusion and we’re proud to celebrate it.’’
And the kids win! Everybody cut, everybody cut …