It's come to this: 'American Pride' theme reinstated for dance after controversy

Sometimes I feel like old Rip Van Winkle, who imbibed a bit too much of the "crature" and fell asleep only to wake up 20 years later, where everything had changed.  If you're an old codger like me, this story probably evokes feelings that Mr. Van Winkle could relate to.

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.”

It certainly is.  So where did this idiotic incident take place?  In California?  New York?


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 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 Monday or Tuesday.

Yes, that Lexington.  The Lexington, where the shot heard round the world was fired.

Pardon me for appearing to be old-fashioned, and a fuddy-duddy, but since when did "American Pride" become a matter of controversy?  This is the 40th anniversary of one of the most successful commercials in history.  Listen to the lyrics and wonder where that America has gone:

First, they ruined baseball (designated hitter, replay).  Then they made hot dogs and applie pie controversial because of calories, sugar, food additives, and gluten in the buns.  And God knows what Chevrolet is becoming.  The ad above is not just from a different era.  It's almost like it portrays life on a different planet.  Where did that America go?

Surely we can do without some of the baggage from that era.  But can you imagine a debate or controversy back then over a dance with the theme of "American Pride"?

I weep for losing that America and for what Amierca is becoming.

If you experience technical problems, please write to