A school district in New York has deemed sweatshirts honoring a police officer killed in the line of duty unacceptable after allowing staff and students to wear BLM attire for months.
Pelham Union Free School District banned sweatshirts honoring George Caccavale, according to a local news outlet:
Carla Caccavale’s father was a transit detective who was fatally shot in 1976 when she was 20 days old. She is blasting Pelham School Superintendent Cheryl Champ for banning a pro-police sweatshirt created in honor of her father. Caccavale says it is a memorial sweatshirt and not political. She says the superintendent has “made it personal by inserting her personal, political opinion.”
We want @SenatorBiaggi to explain to our family why she supports Elder Parole (S2144). Paulie never met his hero grandfather and bills like this would help free the creeps who killed him. Never mention my Father in your campaign video again. pic.twitter.com/FWLdMG9jfR
— C Caccavale Reynolds (@CarlaCacPR) November 20, 2019
The sweatshirt ban is the latest in a string of events causing tension in the Pelham school district. Superintendent Cheryl Champ originally allowed Black Lives Matter shirts to be worn by both students and staff, while at the same time banning staff from wearing masks and sweatshirts in support of the police, saying the symbolism “was threatening in nature.”
After receiving a row of complaints from parents, the superintendent reversed her decision, disallowing staff from both symbols in order to be fair in implementing the policy, but for Caccavale and much of the police community behind her, that isn’t enough.
“There’s no doubt that police have been painted in a negative light recently and that’s really unfortunate,” Caccavale said in a video interview. “But I’m hoping this helps swing the pendulum backed to some sanity.”
“This is a memorial sweatshirt,” Caccavale said. “This is not political.”
Hero Detective George Caccavale was killed in the line of duty in 1976 while stopping an armed robbery. His daughter, Carla, was only 20 days old. These shields have tremendous meaning to her and her family. Please call the Pelham Manor Police with info. https://t.co/Uz9Y6q7fHD
— Detectives' Endowment Association (@NYCPDDEA) April 13, 2020
“Going forward, the policy would include any speech, clothing or symbols that could be construed as political,” a statement from the school board said, without addressing the concerns of Caccavale and others in the law enforcement community.
Westchester News 12 reported that the school board will discuss the issue at its Wednesday meeting.
This is a developing story.