Dear Eastlake Community:
Recently Eastlake has come under scrutiny for a situation around the high school football game last Friday. Personally, I have worked for 15 years at Eastlake, helping to build a positive and empowering culture for students, and I realize that this recent event has placed Eastlake in a negative light.
I want to first apologize for the outcomes of this situation and hope to provide some information as we move forward as a community. I am committed to engaging with EHS students, staff and community to ensure we don’t cause harm in the future.
EHS had a football game on September 10. Some students originally had planned to wear red, white and blue to the football game to recognize the 20th anniversary of 9/11. A staff member changed the theme to EHS spirit gear because they realized it was an away football game, and we could not honor the victims and survivors of 9/11 in our home stadium.
We clearly understand how this decision had the opposite impact from its intention. We also acknowledge that we failed to thoroughly engage students in this decision-making process.
EHS students wore red, white and blue throughout the school day. Students can always wear any type of clothing they would like to our football games, so long as they meet dress code requirements. There were no incidents at the football game. LWSD has put out a message to the community on this topic. It is available here.
Most importantly, I am devastated that these events caused harm to any veterans and those impacted by 9/11. For that we are truly sorry.
As Dr. Holmen stated, we will continue our close communication and partnership with the District to ensure we have clearer, collaborative decision-making processes.
Today we met with some students and our Eastlake Leadership Team to start learning from this experience and building bridges that we can cross moving forward. We will also ensure that all students have an opportunity to process this situation with classmates and teachers, and people in the community will have a chance to have their voices heard.
Chris Bede, Principal
Eastlake High School