FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Protesters with American flags demonstrated outside Fort Collins High School on Monday morning.
They are upset that the school said no to 'Merica Day. Instead the school will hold America Day today.
Students said the idea was to show support for their country, but school officials told 7NEWS that 'Merica had negative connotations, so they nixed that idea.
"When students first proposed Merica Monday, building administrators felt that it was against this unifying theme and disrespectful to our country," Poudre School officials said in a statement. "Merica is a slang term that is often used in a negative, stereotypical way to describe life in the United States. This is what led administrators to discuss alternatives with students."
UrbanDictionary.com defined 'Merica as a "hick" phrase meaning "If you don't like they way things are here in Merica then you can git out."
"Monday morning at 7, we’re going to be out here. Our goal is to surround the school with 5,000 flags and welcome these kids to school on 'Merica Monday -- to show them that it does mean something in this country to be a flag waving American. I think the decision that was made, the [school's] reasoning behind the decision, is absolutely ridiculous," said community member Jeff Jensen.
There weren't 5,000 people, but there were about two dozen people.
This is Spirit Week at FCHS. The theme this year is "Spread the Love Week."
The entire statement from Poudre School District last week:
We regret that the recent decision regarding My Country Monday was viewed as not patriotic. This could not be further from the truth. The original intent of Spirit Week at Fort Collins High School was to unify the student body.
When students first proposed Merica Monday, building administrators felt that it was against this unifying theme and disrespectful to our country. Merica is a slang term that is often used in a negative, stereotypical way to describe life in the United States. This is what led administrators to discuss alternatives with students.
We were surprised that our community interpreted these actions as anti-American. Fort Collins High School is a proud public school in America and supports many activities to celebrate this great nation. Due to this outpouring of sentiment and misinterpretation of intentions, school administrators have decided to rename the first day of Spirit Week America Day as opposed to Merica Day.
We look forward to enjoying the creativity and energy of FCHS students as they celebrate their patriotism next week.