Target: Gregory K. Frizzell, Chief Judge of Northern Oklahoma District
Goal: Demand an apology to Native American high school graduate refused the freedom to exercise religion.
An Oklahoma school refused to allow Hayden Griffith the right to wear an eagle feather during her graduation and upon suing the school, Chief Judge Frizzell ruled in favor of the school. With obvious breaches of religious expression like this, an oppressed citizen is supposed to be able to rely on the courts of law to back up their rights. This was not the case for Hayden, as this court of law was quick to back up the school in their discriminatory practices.
Native American communities regard eagle feathers as sacred and they are only given to those who have accomplished something great. Hayden Griffith is a member of the Cherokee Nation and Delaware tribe and she had the right to be proud while wearing her well-earned eagle feather on her cap at such a pivotal and monumental moment of her life. However, the school administration found it necessary to revoke this special moment from her and in turn, signal that Native American religion is not as valid as other religions.
However, what is most distressing about her case is that after the incident, she took to
the proper legal channels to gain acknowledgement of this misconduct and was turned down by a chief judge, who does not have the authority to overwrite or amend rights guaranteed to all citizens by the constitution. By defending the schools’ choice to enforce an arbitrary rule instead of following the law that he swore to uphold, Chief U.S. District Judge Frizzell proved that he valued discriminatory practices and was willing to go against the law to protect them.
Sign this petition to demand that Chief U.S. District Judge Frizzell apologizes to Hayden Griffith for further oppressing her by upholding discriminatory rules and denying her the right to religious freedom.
Dear Judge Frizzell,
I am writing this petition to express my deep disappointment at the gross miscarriage of justice you took part in concerning Hayden Griffith. Freedom and justice for all is supposed to prevail in the United States, regardless of race, creed, color or origin. However, justice did not overcome prejudice in this particular case, as you judged in favor of the discriminatory decision that was made by her high school administration.
As you know, when Caney Valley High School refused to allow Hayden Griffith to wear an eagle feather at her graduation, she chose to sue the school for violating her First Amendment right and also infringing upon her rights guaranteed by the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act. It is clear that her rights were denied upon many grounds, and upon taking the necessary legal means for remediation, she was again withheld from liberty, but this time it was by your hand.
Surely you are aware that public schools cannot pick and choose which legislative rights their students are entitled to, nor are they able to allow religious expression of one kind and oppress another kind. One of the most emphasized pieces of legislation here in the United States is the freedom to practice whichever religion one chooses.
As a powerful and influential authority figure, you have the platform to seek justice for those who are oppressed and you also have the responsibility to rule in favor of the law and the rights of the citizens in your jurisdiction. I urge you to apologize to Ms. Griffith for withholding justice from her and for wrongfully teaching her that it is acceptable for a public institution to trample on her constitutional rights, and additionally for sending the message that people like her are less entitled to their rights as American citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: John McStravick