Witnesses: Christmas Sweater Club Not So 'Innocent'
HAYMARKET, Va. (WUSA) -- What were the intentions of the boys in the Christmas Sweater Club at Battlefield High School? Were they innocent? Did their plan to hand out candy canes get out-of-hand? Whatever your opinion, sides have been taken and people are angry over what happened; or didn't happen.
"I think the administration lost its holiday spirit," said Heather Williams, a mother of the of the boys in the club.
The boys say they were just handing out or gently tossing two inch, wrapped candy canes as students arrived at Battlefield one morning. And several boys who were there back them up.
But Abdus Khan, a senior, saw something different. "They had candy canes and they were chucking them," he said. Khan said he saw a few people who had red marks on their faces where the small candy canes had hit them.
A few postings on our Facebook page describe a similar chaotic, and unfriendly scene. Khan said he heard a few of the boys shouting "Merry f------ Christmas".
Battlefield's principal gave all 10 boys detention and two hours of cleaning. She has declined to be interviewed, but the Prince William County School spokesman, Ken Blackstone, says the punishments had nothing to do with stifling Christmas cheer.
"There were reports of kids getting pelted with candy canes... we had to make them accountable," Blackstone said.
But several of the boys and a mother told of certain administrators in the school making comments, not about the event getting out of hand, but about their motives.
One boy in the club said an administrator told him that candy canes could be misconstrued as Christian symbols.
Mother Kathleen Flannery said that she was shocked when an administrator told her on the phone that the boys needed to keep their Christmas spirit to themselves because the suicide rates go up this time of the year. Flannery says she was so stunned over what the woman was saying, she let her office mate listen to the conversation.
Blackstone denies any administrator said anything about suicide rates or keeping their Christmas spirit to themselves.
Written by Peggy Fox
When I first saw this story on the news, I saw the group of boys, and they just looked obnoxious. I've only been out of high school 4 years, but I can totally imagine a group of guys chucking candy canes at people as they walked into school, making a point of saying Merry Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind if someone says Merry Christmas to me, but it's when they're trying to make a point that they are being politically incorrect that it bothers me. I come from a small Conservative town, so the idea that a group of kids in my high school might start a "Christmas Sweater Club" in order to shove Christianity down our throats sounds completely plausible to me.
What are your thoughts on the Christmas Sweater Club? Do you think they were spreading innocent Holiday cheer, or is there more to this story than they claim?