Group Says Wearing Their ‘Peace Shirts’ on Campus Verbally Attacked by Pro-War Advocates…

 swa.jpgStudents at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High are waging a war on peace by verbally attacking a group of ‘peace’ advocates.

Sophomore Skylar Stains decided to have ‘Peace Shirt Thursdays’ for her and her friend, Lauren Lorraine. They started wearing peace shirts and recruited other friends to wear them. Now, the “Peace Shirt Coalition” as they call themselves, has close to 30 students from all grades.

“We’ve worn handmade peace shirts every Thursday since the first week of school, without fail,” says Skylar Stains.

However, what started out as a light-hearted gesture soon started to be taken out of context. Students started approaching the group members and yelling obscene things at them. 

The heckling began early in the school year, according to group members. They say they were putting small posters promoting peace on friends’ lockers with their permission. They thought it was OK, because the cheerleaders and football players had signs on theirs. Eventually, though, group members say they were told by the school’s administration they could no longer hang up the posters.

“People just turned on us like that,” she said. “At least 10 boys stood up and yelled things at me at once, and we couldn’t even walk through the halls without a harsh comment being made.”

“People tore them down and drew swastikas and ‘white power’ stuff on them,” Lauren said, referring to the posters.

Skylar had similar things written on her posters.

“Someone taped an ‘I Love Bush’ sign over my ‘Wage Peace’ sign,” she said. “So I tore it down, threw it away, and the whole commons starting booing.

Someone also hung a sign that said, “I Love America, Because America Loves War.”

Lori Masterson, assistant principal at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High, said all students have the opportunity to form clubs and organizations on campus, but those wishing to do so must identify a sponsor and bring their written proposal to the principal outlining what the proposed group’s purpose and goals are.

“As of this writing, to my knowledge, no one has submitted a written proposal with an identified sponsor for a peace club,” Masterson said in an e-mailed statement.

But peace group members say they have submitted a written proposal and had a written sponsor.

As you might have expected, they were turned down.

Skylar and Lauren said that despite the backlash, the T-shirts and posters originally had nothing to do with politics, but the outburst from opposing groups have turned it into a political issue.

“People just kept putting words into our mouths, like we said this or that about current politics,” Lauren said. “But we didn’t say anything.”

Soon, a second group started to wear Confederate flag shirts to oppose the peace group, Skylar said. She saw shirts with sayings such as “This is America, get used to it,” and “If peace is the answer; it must be a stupid question.”

“Now there are even ‘support our troops’ kids who don’t like us because I guess they think you can’t say peace and support the troops at the same time,” Lauren said.

Skylar later passed out yellow ribbons for her group to wear to show they support the troops as well as peace.

However, Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High sophomores Lydia Pace and Joseph Marianetti say the Confederate shirts they wear express support for the troops in Iraq, and nothing more. Joseph said the shirts have nothing to do with racism.

For the troops in Iraq? What?

“Someone took something that stood for peace and twisted it” in regards to the swastikas (drawn by a third group) and the Confederate flag, he said.

On John Lennon’s birthday, the group held an honorary Peace Shirt day and was confronted even more than usual, eventually causing some group members, including Cheyenne, to break down in tears.

The peace group members say their shirts continue to draw negative comments from some students, but point out that other school groups don’t receive similar treatment.

“Since peace is causing other problems, the peace kids are being punished,” Skylar said.

Do you think there’s a bunch of fat, white, old time, stuff shirt, war-hawk, racist, conservatives in Cocoa Beach, teaching their kids to be hate mongers?

I believe so.

Look at the demographics and draw your own conclusion…

The People and Families of Cocoa Beach

In Cocoa Beach, about 54% of adults are married. Lots of people in Cocoa Beach live independently, in one-person housing.

Among adults, males are better represented than women in the city. People 65 and older make up an important part of the community in Cocoa Beach.

Wealth and Education

In 2000, Cocoa Beach had a median family income of $51,795. Cocoa Beach isn’t a place with a large population of people in poverty. The city, compared to most cities like it, can boast of a large population of high-income unmarried people.

Political Inclinations

In the 2004 Presidential fund-raising sweepstakes, George W. Bush came out ahead among Cocoa Beach residents, with $8,770. Residents gave more to the Republican party than any of the others.

Cocoa Beach Housing

In Cocoa Beach, 71% of the houses and apartments are occupied by the owners, not rented out. The city sports a large amount of seasonal housing, typically for vacation or part-time use.

Commuting

In Cocoa Beach, 91% of commuters drive to work.

Stand tall against the rednecks Skylar. If you need any help on the blogs, we’re here for you. Anyone who wears a Swastika or a Confederate Flag shirt is a pinhead who endorses violence and racial hatred. They are as ignorant and foolish as our current president, who I believe also endorses these very things. 

Don’t be naive Skylar. What you are doing is political, just be sure to defend your position. The legion of ‘The Stupid’ that is the Republican party and its sorted conservative knuckleheads will not give up easily because most of these people are patently stubborn and intellectually rigid by default.

Good luck.  

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Posted on November 20, 2007, in Civil Rights, Conservatives, George Bush, Military, Politics, Race Rlations, Republican Party and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Skylar:
    You students keep on with the peace shirts. the problem that I have is the comment is that people who wear a “Confederate Battle Flag” are pinhead and endorse violence and racial hatred.
    Not so……..
    My gr. gr. grandfather and his two brothers took up arms against a government that just trampled all over the Constitution. They were peace lovin people who had to defend their Constitutional freedom from a yankee government who was out of control just like W and oil friends in Washington. I wear my “Confederate Battle Flag” with pride. I AM A PROUD DESCENDANT OF A CONFEDERATE VETERAN, and I live in Indiana

  2. MJ "revoltingpawn"

    People are wearing Confederate flag shirts in response to Peace shirts? What!? I don’t get it…

    It’s a outrage that the school itself is not supporting them. You have to register as a group to wear the same t-shirt these days? Hope the Peace kids are learning a early life lesson here which is most people are ignorant even the people in charge.

    ALWAYS QUESTION AUTHORITY!

    Thinking we all know who the smart kids are and the other students who will be pumping gas for a living.

  3. Brian,

    I meant people wearing the Confederate flag in response to the peace movement. It almost suggests they are anti-peace…don’t you think? By the way, the Confederate flag has more recently been identified in socio-political culture as a symbol of race hatred, no matter what your gr. gr. grandfather fought for. I’m talking more recent history here.

  4. Where are the “Peace Through Superior Fire Power” shirts?

    Or the very old (Roman Times) ” If you want Peace prepare for war.”

    Of course the idea of violence to obtain peace is abhorrent. I think we should start by disbanding the police depts. Those guys wear guns on the job. Act local, think global.

    It could work.

    Any way. Getting rid of the police would show how serious the Peace people are about Peace.

  5. M. Simon,

    Not sure where you’re going with this. Are you saying all violence, including domestic disputes and rape are equal to international global conflict? I think Skylar is implying ‘global peace’ here. Besides, the point of the post was that a double standard is at work here (i.e It’s okay to wear shirts as long as they don’t say peace on them.) Why wasn’t the ‘Confederate Flag’ wearing crowd persecuted equally. It seems odd to me. What do you think?

  6. the teen reporter who wrote this story deserves kudos for telling the outside world what’s been happening at CBHS. this story has legs because of: 1) the inarticulate response of the kids who drew swastikas and wore confederate flag shirts — white power/racisim/hate symbols (sorry southernboy, but you gotta look at the context: swastikas and confederate flags = kkk); and 2) the school administration’s reaction.

    the school can either: 1) make this a bigger story by punishing the peace kids or 2) use this controversy as an opportunity to create a dialogue among the students about the war and/or free speech.

    btw: there have been courts which have upheld banning the confederate flag in schools as not being protected free speech b/c the message is disruptive.

  7. MJ "revoltingpawn"

    manny…

    Thanks for the intelligent comment which we infrequently get on here. See you are on MySpace and 14 years old?

    Don’t get the wrong idea but if like to add us as a friend…

    http://www.myspace.com/shadowdemocracy

  8. MJ "revoltingpawn"

    M. Simon…

    No one is wearing “Peace Through Superior Fire Power” t-shirts because it is a totally wrong headed statement.

    The U.S. has had “superior fire power” for the most part in the last 65 years and we have been in more conflicts, occupations, and Wars then anyone. Of course right now we are misusing our power in an illegal and unneeded War. Peace my ass…

    You seem to have no idea what the concept of Peace means since relating it to local law enforcement???

  9. Ok , i go to CBHS and this story has some truth to it, but it is also full of lies. These so called “peace people” are verbally abusive towards their fellow students. Is that ironic that they say “peace peace peace” but they will turn their backs and yell at someone who is not promoting peace. Im sorry but yelling at other people is promoting peace you are just contradicting yourself. They feel that the only opinion that matters is theirs. Trust me if you try to express your own opinion you will get harassed by them. The whole thing where Lauren ripped the bush thing off the locker and the commons started booing. That is a lie! I think the best way to resolve this is to stop wearing the shirts all together. They need to express their own opinions in a different way because there is high tension around people in the school and i think someone might potentially get hurt over the issue.

  10. MJ "revoltingpawn"

    unknown…

    I am doubtful of your creditability on the issue since you seem more concerned about fellow students wearing Peace t-shirts then the ones wearing the confederate flag t-shirts. Seems odd to me…

    As far as students being abusive, I am sure it is a two way street. I was in school at one time and kids are generally mean to each other. Funny, but I have never meet a teenager who does not think only their opinion matters.

    If students wearing a Peace t-shirts is causing so much tension maybe the school needs to have an assembly on tolerance for other people soon. If feel do have to prohibit Peace t-shirts maybe it be a good idea for school uniforms? Solves the whole problem..

    I wonder if your problem is with the message or you are just not friends with those kids wearing the t-shirts? There is no reason to fear Peace. It will be OK…

  11. unknown,

    Why is it that all the war hawks think that peace is such a threat anyway? That has always perplexed me. If everyone accepted the idea of peace, there would be no conflict, hence there would be perpetual peace. Cool huh?

    Who makes the first move toward that ideal? If a Hiltler comes along, I am all in favor of hunting him down and dealing with him, but pre-emptive invasion of a sovereign nation in the name of military presence and oil? Come on….

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