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Librarian apologizes for ban on ‘Proud to Be an American’

SHARE Librarian apologizes for ban on ‘Proud to Be an American’

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The head librarian of a public university apologized for making employees remove "Proud to Be an American" stickers so international students wouldn't be offended.

Kathy Hoeth, library director at Florida Gulf Coast University, issued a statement of apology Wednesday after the school president rescinded her directive.

Library staff wore the red, white and blue computer-designed stickers last week. Hoeth, who lived in New York for 31 years, said she wanted "the highest respect for everyone coming to the desk" in the library, and ordered the stickers removed.

Her action Monday triggered several complaints from the public, who called and e-mailed the university.

"One employee made a terrible mistake," said President William C. Merwin. "Patriotism on Florida Gulf Coast University campus is welcomed."

Hoeth said in her statement that it was a bad decision she regretted for the pain it caused. She said she was merely trying to provide an "atmosphere of tolerance and respect for the university's diverse population."