The Hot Air and Space Museum
State of the Union: Bake the cake, wear the ribbon, but don’t wear the hat.
Fox News Digital reported this morning that employees at the National Air and Space Museum “kicked out a dozen Catholic high school students and their chaperones for wearing beanies inscribed with pro-life messages.” Specifically, the blue hats read, “Rosary PRO-LIFE.”
Whether or not you’ve visited this museum before and spoken with its–uhm–curators, this news should not serve as a surprise. The American Center for Law and Justice, the public interest law firm representing the parents of students involved, claimed that
The museum staff mocked the students, called them expletives, and made comments that the museum was a “neutral zone” where they could not express such statements. The employee who ultimately forced the students to leave the museum was rubbing his hands together in glee as they exited the building.
Were the mockers and cursers the same people who encouraged the students to respect the neutrality of their institution? It should go without saying that other occasions would have seen students and chaperones visiting the museum with BLM shirts and pride flag hats, and the employees must not have noticed.
The museum told Fox that they “provided immediate training to prevent a re-occurrence of this kind of incident” because “[a]sking visitors to remove hats and clothing is not in keeping with our policy or protocols.”
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Cry Cons – the retreatist, defeatist, “oh, you are the meanest” types – will raise their fists and bemoan the state of things. But that response doesn't acknowledge the broader lesson here.
A good manager at a Wendy’s would fire a cashier heard cursing at young customers. When museum administrators decided to respond to the incident by asking the deputy communications director to inform the media that they provided training to an apparently training-resistant contingent of their staff, they were signaling to their employees that they can do whatever they want and to their visitors that they should reconsider wearing pro-life hats the next time they visit a museum in the nation’s capital if they want to avoid a scene.
The museum staff, and its administration in turn, made it clear that the pro-life, Catholic students from Greenville, South Carolina, weren’t wanted at an institution that was primarily built for students. After their success in court, the students should come back to town next year.