Canada Teachers Did Not Ask Students To Wear 'Rainbow Poppies': Manitoba School's Board
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on Remembrance Day is a tradition that’s lasted for decades, one that’s served as a visual memorial to veterans who have sacrificed their lives in wartime.
But some Canadians have taken offence to “,” which has been described as a multi-coloured version of the poppy that honours . Reports circulated that two students from a high school in Manitoba were suspended for refusing to follow their choir teacher’s demand to wear rainbow poppies.
Coverage is “misinformation:” school board
Cyara Bird, a Conservative MP hopeful who, wrote on that her 17-year-old cousin Natalie and a classmate had been suspended from Stonewall Collegiate in Stonewall, Man. The pair allegedly refused a teachers “demand” to wear a rainbow poppy and were suspended for hate speech.
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Stonewall Collegiate’s school boardaddressing the coverage about the high school. Interlake School Division made it clear that no student in their district has been ordered to wear a rainbow poppy.
At the time of publication, neither Cyara Bird or Interlake School Division’s superintendent Margaret Ward were available for comment.
The story has been shared by public figures like Canadian white nationalistQuillette editor , and . However, there is no proof that rainbow poppies are being sold in Canada and the school’s board denies the suspensions have occurred.
Athat appears to belong to Natalie’s father has , alleging that she was suspended specifically for .
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of a letter written by the 14-year-old teenager that may have partially motivated this alleged suspension.
“They say her letter was hate speech,” he says. The post has since been taken down.
“Way to un-do centuries of blood sweat and tears all because you need to do the dishes,” the statement reads. “Keep it in your pants Nobody needs or wants to see it.”
He adds that his daughter was also approached several times by individuals, teachers, and her guidance councillor for the views she was sharing.
His daughter confirmed that she wrotein an interview with right-wing outlet The Post Millennial, adding that she taped copies of the letter in her high school’s hallways.
Rainbow poppies aren’t likely available in Canada
In spite of online outrage — includingto “stop” rainbow poppies ― there have been no signs of rainbow poppies appearing in Canada. The , which gives out poppies freely every year, does not have a rainbow edition of the pin. At the time of publication, major Canadian online retailers like Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon do not sell rainbow poppies.
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Watch: the history of the poppy. Story continues below.
The idea of a rainbow poppy has existed for years, within 2016.
seems to follow the initial backlash from from a British seller of a hand-made rainbow poppy, with proceeds going to charity. The seller has ceased bidding, after receiving online harassment.
The detractors take issue with the poppy’s changed appearance. However, other variations of the poppy have already been created. In a guide to the colour variations, thelists the black poppy as a symbol honouring Black veterans, the purple poppy for animals who served in war, and for those who are anti-war.
Others have criticized the need for LGBTQ+ veterans to deserve an individualized poppy. In response, people online have highlighted the major contributions of queer and trans individuals in war time were often downplayed, as their identities made them vulnerable for stigma and violence. World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing has been used as a prime example.
How a rainbow poppy from the U.K. reportedly led to a student suspension in Manitoba
When Julie Fearnley decided to make a rainbow-coloured poppy in 2018, she thought it was an innocent, noble gesture. “A gay friend of mine asked about producing a rainbow version and immediately I thought about Alan Turing and his struggles with being a gay man in WW2 so I thought it was a good idea,” she wrote in an e-mail, noting she’s made three-dimensional clay poppies for the last decade. Inspired by her friend’s request and by Turing, a gay computer scientist whose work decoded Nazi Germany’s secrets, the U.K.-based youth volunteer crafted the coin-sized, glittery, enamel badge with a different colour for each petal.
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