A star high school athlete in rural Marshalltown, Iowa has been suspended for three football games this fall because he posted a social media image of himself enthusiastically festooned from head to toe in white clothing during school spirit week. In the photo, he made the letter “W” with his hands — which in this case stands for white.
The student is Blair Van Staalduine, reports Des Moines NBC affiliate WHO-TV.
The student’s parents say the the principal of Marshalltown High School called Van Staalduine a racist after concluding that his hand signal was a white pride symbol.
The parents have now responded to the suspension and the charge that their son is a racist by threatening to sue.
“We were appalled,” his mother, Cathy Van Staalduine, tol WHO-TV. “We were appalled and so was he. Absolutely. Because the furthest thing from Blair is being racist.” (RELATED: The Daily Caller Presents The Alphabet Of Racism: The Letter ‘B’)
The school colors at Marshalltown High appear to be red, white and blue. Van Staalduine wore white because school officials had asked members of his class to wear white during school spirit week festivities.
“The actual school chose the colors that each grade would be wearing,” Cathy Van Staalduine explained. “Juniors wore white. So Blair, of course, being active in the school, dressed from head to toe in white.”
She noted emphatically that the “W” sign was for the color her son was assigned.