NY school district bans staff from wearing sweatshirt featuring thin blue line patch

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A New York school district has banned staff from wearing a sweatshirt featuring the thin blue line patch honoring a slain NYPD officer. 

Pelham Public Schools superintendent Cheryl Champ wrote to employees telling them flag was banned, arguing it ‘has increasingly been perceived by students to be threatening in nature’, making them feel ‘unsafe’.   

The sweatshirt was designed by the daughter of late Transit Police Detective George Caccavale, who was shot dead in 1976. She sold the designs to raise money for police charities after a K-9 dog was named Vale in tribute to her late father.  

But after a number of Pelham school officials bought the sweaters Champ sent an email to say they, and face masks with the thin blue line patch, were banned. There was no mention in her initial email of a ban focusing on any other movements.  

A New York school district has banned staff from wearing this sweatshirt featuring the thin blue line patch honoring a slain NYPD officer

A New York school district has banned staff from wearing this sweatshirt featuring the thin blue line patch honoring a slain NYPD officer

The sweatshirt was designed by Carla Caccavale, pictured, the daughter of late Transit Police Detective George Caccavale, who was shot dead in 1976

Carla Caccavale sold the designs to raise money for police charities after a K-9 dog was named Vale in tribute to her late father, George Caccavale, pictured

The sweatshirt was designed by the daughter of late Transit Police Detective George Caccavale, right, who was shot dead in 1976. Carla Caccavale, left, sold the designs to raise money for police charities after a K-9 dog was named Vale in tribute to her late father

Designer Carla Caccavale, 44, told The New York Daily News she ‘is not into politics at all’, adding: ‘This was never about politics. It was about honoring my father.’

Caccavale who was just 20 days old when her father died aged 33 working a second job at a check cashing store, added: ‘This is not Black Lives Matter versus police. This was never the intent when we created the sweatshirt.’

After her initial email in October Champ then told staff in a follow up note on November 3: ‘I recognize that in these heightened political times, these decisions, which were made on a case-by-case basis, have become intertwined and perceived by some to reflect a political leaning on behalf of myself and the district.

Pelham Public Schools superintendent Cheryl Champ wrote to employees telling them flag was banned, arguing it 'has increasingly been perceived by students to be threatening in nature', making them feel 'unsafe'

Pelham Public Schools superintendent Cheryl Champ wrote to employees telling them flag was banned, arguing it ‘has increasingly been perceived by students to be threatening in nature’, making them feel ‘unsafe’

‘Like many symbols whose meaning has been co-opted over time, the thin blue line flag has increasingly been perceived by students to be threatening in nature, causing them to feel unsafe within our schools.’

After the president of the NYPD’s detectives union, Paul DiGiacomo, took issue with the ban Champ appeared to change her stance. 

She wrote: ‘Decisions made last week did not evenly support our ideals of political neutrality. 

Champ then told staff they should not wear any clothing that can be considered political, including support for ‘and social movements such as those represented in our schools last week on T-shirts and masks.’ Students are not included in the ban.  

The schools district told the Daily News: ‘This was specifically about disallowing staff attire displaying symbols considered to have political meaning, including, but not limited to the blue line flag.’

But Caccavale added: ‘The issue is still that a blue line flag is not political.’

Designer Carla Caccavale, centrer, said: 'This was never about politics. It was about honoring my father.' Caccavale was just 20 days old when her father died aged 33 working a second job at a check cashing store. She added: 'This is not Black Lives Matter versus police'

Designer Carla Caccavale, centrer, said: ‘This was never about politics. It was about honoring my father.’ Caccavale was just 20 days old when her father died aged 33 working a second job at a check cashing store. She added: ‘This is not Black Lives Matter versus police’

Source


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