Last week I wrote about students who are bucking the trend of today’s college campuses and speaking out as conservatives. After reading my column mentioning high school senior Toni Woods, her teacher asked her, “Why would anyone talk about a 16-year-old know-nothing?” Gee, I wonder why only graying hippies and bra-burners want to attend left-wing conferences?
After word got around about the article, another teacher called Toni a “traitor.” After years of teaching with a liberal bias, Toni went off and became a conservative. How dare she! There are thousands of young conservatives (especially Joe Logue who has dreams about the Fair Tax) that walk into classrooms every day with a smile and the intent to annoy their liberal professors.
At the risk of getting Toni in more trouble with her teachers, I thought I’d dedicate another column to her and other students that are the real rebels on today’s high school and college campuses. Last September 11, Toni participated in the 9/11: Never Forget Project. She single-handedly raised money for supplies and constructed a 9/11 memorial with flags for the 2,977 lives lost that day. She also put up posters around the school in order to educate her fellow students about the war on terrorism and those who fought for freedom. Apparently, this is considered traitorous by some teachers at Amherst County High School. The memorial was a huge success, garnering coverage in several newspapers and local radio and TV stations. Toni told me, “I still have people come up to me in the grocery store say ‘You're the girl that did the flags’ and they thank me. I never thought I could do something that would have such an impact on people, but the memorial really did.”
What started as a solo project grew into a larger effort for this year’s anniversary. In addition to enlisting other student volunteers, her principal also helped set-up the display. Administrators at other schools haven’t been so accommodating. Two girls at Walt Whitman High School in New York were told by their principal that Never Forget buttons couldn't be distributed because their “pins could be used as weapons.” Some other excuses used by various administrators from others schools included calling the flags a fire hazard (only the left could come up with this one) and insisting that the campus conservatives must camp outside so the flags could be watched 24 hours-a-day.
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