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Support at Wilson High

A "small" work force arrived about 9:30 a.m. That was the last time that the word "small" could be applied to the community that showed up in support of Maggie, Daniel, and all of their un named associates in dissent. By the time that was designated (11:00 a.m.), at least a hundred folks were present.
The first thing that became apparent to all of us, is just how little the school officials cared about the entire detail: All access gates to the school were chained and locked, a situation that is not normal, according to many who walk or play there every week end. This was an obvious attempt to keep the work detail small as the administration had predicted. No, it did not accomplish it's intention. Wheelbarrows were brought from homes, and we wheeled the donated sod from the street, up the hill to the quad, a distance of about three hundred yards. Dedicated rebels are not going to be silenced or discouraged, no matter how many stinkin fences you put in our way!

The next thing to notice was the diversity of the crowd. All ages, and virtually all socio economic strata were well represented. Students were not a minority, but neither were they in the majority. This was a well balanced crowd, full of encouragement and pride for the students who took action to state their purpose. Peace is not our enemy, no matter how many times the war mongers among us try to claim otherwise. We saw Viet Nam Veterans for Peace, retired folks from way out of town, American Friends, and many more, who were there in solidarity against the fascists from the school district.

I was informed that graduating seniors have been forbidden to wear any embellishments (marigolds?) on their robes, mortar boards, or anywhere upon their persons. The administration promises that it will be having students open their robes to demonstrate that no forbidden thought will be allowed. My take would be to skip the graduation, maybe hire a hall, and all seniors show up there, away from the dorks who would deny their finest hour.

The restoration work was completed in about an hour, and refreshment and food were served. It should be noted, that all of the food, water, and even the sod and top soil were donated by various businesses in the community, who apparently did not agree with the school, and it's repressive attitude. I am sure that Maggie will supply a list of the donors later on.

All in all, a wonderful action, one that was much farther reaching, and had much more impact than it would have, had the school just sucked it up, accepted an act of creative dissent, and moved on. Their over reaction had an effect that was much the opposite of what they desired.

We were also able to release another bunch of DVDs, "28 Seconds, the Killing of Fouad Kaady" into a receptive group.

Maggie, we're proud of ya, thanks for inviting us!

Good People 26.May.2007 14:55

Olwen

This was a grand opportunity to meet many good people of all ages. I met Maggie's sister Katie and her mother Allison, and was very impressed with the kind of family support they gave each other. Daniel, another organizer of the "prank" and Maggie stood together before the ever daunting corp media and held their own. Good for them. People of all ages made connections and worked together. This is the kind of community action that warms my heart. I noticed that in the entry to the school, there is a big sign saying "Nobel Peace Prize" I guess that doesn't mean much to the principal there, as a Peace sign springing up in the court area caused her great alarm. This is the same school, if you will remember, where students put Peace signs in the windows and were told to remove them. There is an article about that in the Indy archives somewhere.

I should not have been surprised by the locked gates, but was anyway. We had to haul the sod in wheelbarrows down the long drive to the court and then push them up a steep slope to the garden area. No one whined about it...we just got busy.

Since the Marigold has become the symbol of Peace and a symbol of this action, some of us suggested that the graduates wear marigolds when they accept their diplomas. That is when we were told that the school has already stated that NO alteration in dress will be allowed, and that all graduates will be obligated to open their robes to prove that they do not have anything "restricted" on their persons. I am amazed about how our "education" system is trying to shut down voices instead of allowing freedom of expression. Wait! I am not amazed by that at all....just horrified. It gave me great encouragement to see the kinds of students I saw at this action today. They will not be silenced. Bless 'em!

MSM Was There, Missed the Point 26.May.2007 18:20

LN

-As usual. The press of course does not want to let freedom of expression get beyond the control of the "authorities." I note that all have reported on "the prank," and all indicated that the "kids" have "learned their lesson" about school property. Now, I was there all day, and I heard nothing about such a "lesson" being learned. The lessons I heard being discussed, were "never confess," "if you are honest and forthright, you will be punished." Kinda like the way the country is being run today.
Another thing that they all missed was the fact that, while both students and parents were well represented, there were students from other schools, there were folks like us from way out of town, and in no way connected to either students or the school. Veteran's for Peace were not even mentioned by MSM, nor were any of those who were there just to stand in solidarity with these young adults (not kids).
That's o.k., MSM, we know that you never report the entire story, that is why we are here, and why we were there, with the young Americans.
That the school has allowed senior "pranks" to go un noticed in years past, but to disallow this cry for peace, speaks volumes, but we did not hear it from you, KATU, KGW, or KOIN.

I cannot believe 26.May.2007 19:59

There is a single student

Who will open their robes to be inspected like terrorist suspects- oops I mean US Citizens trying to fly from one town to another! Who does this principal think she is, GW Bush? I must advise you all that if you cooperate with this you have taken a long step into the dark, one you will always regret. Use the creativity you showed in making the peace sign to find a way to shine light, rise above, teach the so called teacher how much more you have learned than they intended...

Marigolds for the AUDIENCE? 26.May.2007 21:33

9/11 truther

The folks in the graduation ceremony AUDIENCE can wear anything they like! Like marigolds.

hmmmm 27.May.2007 11:01

me

I am happy to see the warm hearts who came to the school to help this student. However, I can't help but wonder just how helpful it is to assist the school in "repairing the damage" like that. I think this work party of 100 people should have reclaimed ALL the school grounds, planting a much BIGGER and much more subversive garden. Perhaps a circle A all in lemon balm. Or a great, rambling maze of herbs and flowers, all leading to an ampitheater where students might find their voices for real.

How can we trust our children to a school that would allow Coke and Pepsi and taco bell to take over common places in the hallways and colonize young minds, but would see a peace sign made of flowers as something dangerous and destructive? I'm not sure that assisting them with that by erasing the garden was the right way to address this.

Totally agree 27.May.2007 11:55

With Me

For the sake of the poor student who was being threatened with everything evil in the world, we came, we saw, and when her "repairs" are finished, and the dick head principal has gone to her home under the porch (where she can lie in wait to bite the mailman), some of us shall return. This is not over.
Meanwhile, not only did the school bring up the ire of folks already in tune, many others who may have not been so inclined stepped forward. A small step, but in the right direction. Did I mention that many area BUSINESSES stepped up to donate hundreds of dollars worth of food, materials, etc? All of this builds a pool of more like minded folk to strike out at fascism. Not a perfect action, but an action, nonetheless.

Beautiful 27.May.2007 18:30

activist

This action (meaning the "prank") is one that these students should look back on with pride. I am thrilled to know that such people are coming up and I regret the mess they will have to deal with.

The action to "repair" the garden is also inspiring. I hope the school administration is humbled and embarrassed by the big snit they made out of a few flowers. Real adolescent pranks usually involve materials that are not so pleasant.

I would like to recommend a book to these brave students--The Soft Revolution by Neil Freedman, I think. I hope they will find it inspiring and find more ways to humble the administration, school or otherwise.

Ok, Marigolds in button holes 27.May.2007 19:29

Now tell me

When and where the graduation is again?

class of '69 27.May.2007 20:01

x

I graduated from Wilson back when the dinosaurs roamed. In those days the administration allowed the popular students and athletes to harass those who didn't toe the line as a means of social control. Good on Maggie and those who helped out!

THANK YOU 27.May.2007 22:55

maggie margeauxmae@yahoo.com

oh my gosh!!! Well sense all the great whitty comments have already been made, all that is left i guess is just to say thank you sooooo much. i am really fortunate to have such people behind me. and i am just overwhelmed with it all right now, im just so happy. thank you again x a billion
love peace :)

Supreme Court supports student freedom of speech 28.May.2007 12:28

Bonnie Tinker bonnietinker@gmail.com

Has anyone talked to the ACLU? My younger brother and sister, John and Mary Beth Tinker, and their friend Chris Eckhardt were among a group of students kicked out of school in December 1965 for wearing black armbands to school in Iowa. The ACLU supported our parents in suing the Des Moines School Board. The case went to the Supreme Court and the students won. The case is knows as Tinker vs. The Des Moines Independent Community School District. The decision, written by Justice Abe Fortas, states: "It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

Although I am not a lawyer, I would think that wearing marigolds to graduation clearly constitutes symbolic speech. For that matter, students could probably wear a peace symbol necklace. Maybe a black arm band with marigolds pinned on would make the point?

Both Mary Beth and John spend a significant amount of time corresponding with students about this case and speaking about it. I'm sure they will be interested to learn of the Wilson High attempt to suppress a message of peace in the time of war.

Update 29.May.2007 06:57

BOHICA

At the Veterans For Peace chapter 72 Memorial Day peace picnic, the chapter voted unanimously to make Maggie and Daniel honorary lifetime member of the chapter. Passed the hat for donations to help pay off the debt and gave them VFP T shirts. Hopefully they will wear them under their graduation gowns.

From The Oregon ACLU 30.May.2007 10:35

blah

Contact the ACLU with this information if you happen to know.

Thanks for contacting the ACLU of Oregon.

Can you provide me with any additional information?

Did the school send out a memo on a dress code/behavior code for graduation
that I can see?

Is there anything in the student handbook about dress at graduation or other
school ceremonies? Any policies on searches?

In general, ACLU is troubled when school officials seek to search groups of
students without specific reason to believe that those particular students
intend to or are about to break a law or rule. Absent probable cause or
reasonable suspicion, the school would need a warrant or consent to conduct
a search.

Good Job Peacemakers! 31.May.2007 19:06

Joe Anybody iam@joe-anybody.com

Nice Job showing support for this Prank that has been flipped flopped into a charade of "peace is not the answer"
Good job with the solidarity and the help in doing the "restoration"

I liked the Veterans For Peace Award
I like the ideas for graduation ...hmmmmmmmmm?
There is a message brewing ..... I encourage all of us to ...boldly and proudly..... speaking out and speak up!

Thanks for pictures and posts .......
In the same context of this Peace Sign Topic at one school, check this link to a small article in the Portland Tribune I seen yesterday that shows not all principles "hate peace"......
Over at Parkrose High School they are making a peace sign labyrinth..... They are also encouraging the community to help make it!
 http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=118038094963847600

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"Labyrinth Seeks Diggers"

The organizers of a new park on the Parkrose High School campus are inviting volunteers to continue building the Parkrose Community Peace Labyrinth on June 21.

A news release states the event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., "will bring students and neighbors together for a morning of hard work - we'll be digging the circular path for our new labyrinth!" Interested diggers are asked to bring closed-toe shoes, work gloves and, if possible, a shovel.

Volunteers are instructed to meet at the southwest corner of the Parkrose High School Community Center, where Northeast Shaver Street meets 115th Avenue. Refreshments will be provided.

For information, e-mail Sharon Dewitt at  sharon_dewitt@parkrose.k12.or.us or call Community Connections at 503-408-2645.
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Once again ...what a great message......and what a bunch of great people all working together for Peace!

Special THANKS to --> MAGGIE and Fellow Pranksters!