My name is Andrew Eichorn, and I am an 18 year old senior from Flushing High School, Flushing MI.Since a very young age I have been a very large supporter of our 2nd amendment, and overall our Constitutional freedoms our founders provided. I grew up learning how to safely handle firearms, and the proper way to use them. I participate in many shooting events and am the captain of the Flushing High School skeet shooting team. I was instrumental in the founding of this team, and over the past three years we have experienced a lot of success.
I am writing this email in regards to an incident which took place at Flushing High School on May 18, 2016. As I dressed for school, I grabbed my new NRA shirt I received for Christmas off of my shelf. It says NRA on the front and “Keep Calm and Carry Guns” on the back.I went to two classes with no problems, and in my third period I was summoned to the office. I went without hesitation and quickly found out that the school felt my shirt was inappropriate.
I spoke to the assistant principal, Ms. Goldstein. She said I need to take the shirt off, cover it up, or change it and if not, I wouldn’t be allowed back in class. I asked her the reason and she said “because it promotes weapons and violence”. We discussed a lot and I explained that guns are not weapons they are tools, just like a pencil is a tool but could still be used as a weapon, like any other object. And then I asked how a gun can be violent, in order to be violent you need to have emotion and to have emotion you need to be living, so I guess what she was saying is that guns are living and have a mind of their own.I went on further to explain that guns do not kill people, people with bad intentions do. But no matter how much I tried to explain to her she would not budge. I explained it is my first amendment right, freedom of speech, to wear the shirt. And it is my 2nd amendment right to carry a gun which I do on a regular basis at work or when I’m with my family for safety. During the conversation she talked down to me, disrespected me and even had the audacity to call my mother and say I was being disrespectful and rude to her. And by all means that is far from me.At the end of our conversation she told me to change my shirt and I simply refused because I have rights as a United States citizen, and she told me I had to leave school.
After I left, I made a phone call to my father in regards to the incident. He was not too happy with the school. He wanted to go up to the school and have a talk with the assistant principal, but he was 3 hours away on a job site. What happened to me was very embarrassing. The word of what happened spread like wildfire through my school, making me look bad to people like I’m a crazy kid or something.I’m just a young man that loves my country like everybody should.
I plan on going to the school administration building with my father to explain my predicament and hope they can resolve this whole problem, and I hope and pray that you, The National Rifle Association, will be here to stand behind me on this whole ordeal.
Thank you and God Bless,
- Clothing advocating/displaying the use of illegal substances, weapons, discrimination, or violence; advertising hate groups, beer, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs; or containing language or images that are offensive, profane (including acronyms), sexually explicit, or disruptive to the school day, is prohibited.
Andrew’s shirt didn’t advocate the use of weapons, it advocates carrying them – which is legal within our Second Amendment rights.
When contacted for clarification as to how Andrew’s t-shirt went against the school’s guideline of “advocating or displaying weapons”, Assistant Principal Deb Goldstein remained tight-lipped.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Jacques, but because you are not a parent, I am not able to discuss this incident or anything involving him with you,” she said in a phone call.
Principal Jason Melynchek could not be reached for comment.
Andrew remains committed to fighting for his right to advocate, and his father and stepmother have his back.
“Andrew has never been one to provoke trouble or violence,” Mark Eichorn told me. “I am extremely proud of Andrew for not giving in to the demands of Ms. Goldstein and am proud that he stood up for his rights and freedoms. I back him 100% on the decision he made not to comply with the demands of the school, and frankly would have been disappointed if he would have for the reason that I had raised him to be able to decipher right from wrong, and we as a family have always taken our constitutional rights very seriously.”
If you are a Flushing High School parent or alumni, feel free to reach out to them directly for clarification or to voice your support for Andrew and our Second Amendment rights.