(Belle Plaine, IA) Belle Plaine High School administrators say they will no longer hold their annual Veteran’s Day assembly on school grounds, claiming the event’s traditional 21 gun salute “promotes gun violence,” according to NBC affiliate KWWL (KWWL’s original story has been removed from the website).
The assembly was moved off grounds, but the decision has angered residents, especially American Legionnaires and garnered national attention with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican candidate for President, weighing in.
“We honor our fallen heroes with the 21-gun salute, and I am shocked that high school administrators in Iowa would politicize Veteran’s Day with a shameful, anti-gun agenda that prohibits this treasured American tradition. Anyone who dishonors America’s heroes and their sacrifice to keep us free has no business anywhere near our kids and grandkids. Iowa students and families deserve better,” Huckabee said.
The school has provided the following update on their website:
It has always been the intent of the school board and administration to allow the salute on school property if legally possible – that has been our constant goal since we were first asked about plans for Veteran’s Day.
The school superintendent and school board president have been working with the school attorney, other legal consultants and local officials to write the resolution that will be presented to the board.
The first draft was written on Sunday. It was updated Monday. Final comments were added today (Tuesday) and the final draft will be completed early Wednesday morning.
We have worked hard on what we are going to be recommending to the board and believe it will result in a decision the school district, legion members and community will be happy with.