Natalie, the 17-year-old girl who was suspended from Stonewall Collegiate yesterday over a rainbow poppy row, has provided an exclusive statement to The Post Millennial with additional details on the controversial situation.
“It all started when teachers, counsellors, and some students said we should wear the rainbow poppy…” She wrote, stating that she disagreed with the decision to change the traditional red-and-black poppy used to honour Canadian veterans during the Remembrance Day holiday. “I typed up papers on a computer, printed them off, and taped them up in the halls.”
The printed papers contained some quotes from news stories and people on social media Natalie had collected of individuals expressing criticism of the rainbow poppy. Natalie says she was just trying to express her beliefs and opinion on the matter.
“As I was putting them up, teachers were taking them down. I watched as they took them to the office and gave them to the secretary.”
Natalie says she went to class, but was called to the office soon after. There, the Principal and Vice Principal—Jason Calissis and Bryce Baldwin—were waiting, and Natalie alleges they began to yell at her and accuse her of posting “hate speech.”
“They accused me of hate speech and endangering the physical safety of the group of individuals [LGBT students].” Natalie says, “They asked me what I was thinking, and I told them everything … I said I was just voicing my beliefs and morals.”
Natalie says the two male administrators continued to accuse her of “hate speech,” and she became so scared at one point that she was on the verge of tears. “I got to the point of almost crying but I didn’t. I had to be the voice for all those families who were greatly disrespected and offended.”
Natalie is the cousin of former federal MP candidate Cyara Bird, who ran on the Conservative Party ticket in the 2019 general election for the Churchill-Keewatinook Aski riding. Bird, a member of the Little Black River First Nation, tells The Post Millennial that there are World War Two veterans in their family.
Upon trying to record the conversation with the Principal and Vice Principal on her cell phone, Natalie says her phone was confiscated and she was suspended until after Remembrance Day.
“So I asked why? Why am I being suspended and punished for expressing my feelings? And they said everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, opinions, and way of life. So I asked, why am I not?”
did she write the notes in the most tactful manner? no. but she's a 11th-grade high school student at a rural school in the province (Manitoba 62%) with the lowest graduation rate in the country. did she commit acts of hate speech? no. should she be suspended? no.
and you can take issue with me posting a post millennial news story but as i say cbc refuses to cover the story so this is what i have.
nothing about this is "fake news" as city tv says.
rebel media sent a reporter and this is a 10-minute video of him talking to the girl her dad other students plus the principal and superintendent (they both "no commented") etc.
the school is 25 km north of winnipeg. cbc (with over 125 staffers in winnipeg) please send a reporter! global sent a news team and interviewed students - no story.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 09 November 2019 - 05:30 AM.