VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The story quickly went viral in a sea of online outrage: A teenager suspended from her Manitoba High School for refusing to wear a rainbow poppy.
But turns out it didn’t happen and the woman who made the claim is now saying sorry.
Cyara Bird, a conservative candidate in last month’s federal election, says in a Friday night tweet that more information has come to light and she has learned she was wrong.
My statement and apology regarding the misinformation surrounding the use of rainbow poppies. pic.twitter.com/ocPqgB1ChW
— Cyara Bird (@CyaraBird) November 9, 2019
“I regret that my words have been misconstrued. I regret that my post was ill-informed and I apologize to any who have been hurt as a result,” Bird says.
“I am and will continue to be a strong supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. In no way did I intend my post to be an attack on the LGBTQ+ community and I apologize if it was received that way. I am also a staunch supporter of our Veterans. Because of that, I believe I may have acted more hastily than I should have.”
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The tweet on Wednesday alleged Bird’s 17-year-old cousin was suspended from her high school by her choir teacher, after refusing to wear a rainbow poppy instead of a red one during a Remembrance Day ceremony.
“My 17 year old cousin was suspended today… want to know why?” the tweet said. “Her choir teacher was demanding that the choir wear rainbow poppies during their performance in the Remembrance Day ceremony. She and another student rejected that idea, and both were suspended for ‘hate speech.'”
The tweet quickly went viral, with almost 5,000 retweets and nearly 75,000 likes and thousands more sharing the tweet on other social media platforms, including Facebook. Bird made her account private shortly after but has since made it public once again.
Some people were quick to condemn the school and criticize the LGBTQ+ community while others were skeptical of the legitimacy of her claim from the get go. Following Bird’s tweet, the school said at no point did any staff direct, nor mandate, any student to wear a “rainbow poppy.”
“I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy of the information I send from the platform that has been given to me. I will not be commenting on this further,” Bird added in her Twitter apology.