A private university in Dallas, Texas has just broke tradition with displaying their 9/11 memorial.
The school says the display, American flags placed in the ground illustrating the number of people who died on 9/11/2001, could be seen as “triggering, harmful, or harassing.”
Per Washington Post:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appealed Wednesday to Southern Methodist University to reverse a new policy decision that is forcing a change in location on campus for the annual 9/11 memorial display of American flags by a student group.
The tribute of nearly 3,000 small flags “that honor the lives lost on that terrible day” are traditionally displayed on SMU’s Dallas Hall lawn, according to the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, which sponsors the memorial.
Last month, SMU decided to prohibit displays on that prime site, saying the university “respects the right of all members of the community to avoid messages that are triggering, harmful, or harassing.”
Although the school apologized for the strong language, they have kept the decision not to use the traditional site for the display:
In a statement on its website Wednesday, SMU apologized for the language about displays being “triggering or harmful” in its new policy, calling it “inappropriate wording” that had not been properly vetted. That language has since been dropped. “SMU remains absolutely committed to the freedom of expression of all campus community members,” the statement said.
But the university remained firm that the Dallas Hall lawn remained off-limits for the memorial “because it is used by campus community members as a place for studying, outdoor classes and a variety of University events throughout the year.”
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Texas Governor Greg Abbott even tried to get the decision overturned:
In a letter sent to SMU’s president Wednesday, the governor asked that the decision be overturned and the original site for the memorial be reinstated in its “traditional place of honor on the lawn of Dallas Hall.”
“I ask that the 9/11 display not be relegated to a far corner of campus,” the governor wrote. “It should be celebrated in its heart.”
While acknowledging the governor’s letter, SMU’s president remained firm about the location change and took issue with Abbott’s characterization of the new location. “The new location is, in fact, in the heart of campus, not ‘a far corner of campus,’ ” Turner said.