Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Students Sent Home for American Flag T-Shirts

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On Wednesday, May 5, five students were sent home from Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California for wearing American flag items on “Cinco de Mayo,” an ethnic Mexican holiday.

While sitting outside at a table that morning, Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez asked two of the boys to remove their American flag bandannas, which they did, but the boys were then sent to the principal’s office, where they were asked to turn their American flag T-shirts inside-out. Refusal to comply prompted the principal and assistant principal to send the boys home.

The parents of the boys and many California residents were outraged when they heard of what transpired. One parent said that Rodriguez “overstepped his bounds.”

Rodriguez’s defense for his actions was his trepidation that the patriotic items may be perceived as offensive to the Mexican students at the high school and could lead to fights. 

Ironically, the principal’s decision has increased hostility among students at the high school. Fox News reports that tensions rose “in the wake of the decision to forbid the shirts, as the students who wore the shirts defended their right to show their patriotism  — even on a holiday with Mexican origins — while a large group of Hispanic students staged a walkout Thursday in protest.” Approximately 200 Hispanic students missed class on Thursday to show their support for the principal’s decision. They marked to the school district chanting, “we want respect” and “yes we can,” mimicking the Obama campaign slogan.

Francine Roa, a 2005 Live Oak High School graduate, justified the student walkout by remarking, “We did this to support the Latino/Hispanic community.”  But what about supporting America? You know, that place that is providing a free education to these students? The same country that provides these Hispanic students with the right to freely express themselves and celebrate a holiday that celebrates a Mexican battle victory?

The local Tea Partiers did not miss the irony of depriving Americans the right to display the flag proudly. About 150 Tea Partiers rallied in Morgan Hill, California, on Saturday May 8 bearing signs that read, “I’m sorry if this flag offends you — Not Really!” and “Free the freedom of speech.”  One participant waved a large Arizona flag to indicate support of the Arizona immigration law.

Event organizer Georgine Scott-Codiga explains, “We’re just out here supporting our country — we’re just tea partiers and conservatives, and we believe our rights are being stripped away.”

The disappearance of the American culture as displayed in this incident is one of the many losses Americans are experiencing as a result of the open border policy supported by the federal government in the last fifty years. John McManus, president of the John Birch Society, explains this concept in detail on his speaker’s tour “Stealing the American Dream: How Illegal Immigration Affects You.” The influx of illegal immigrants who refuse to assimilate to the American way of life has posed a threat to American culture for far too long.

Superintendent Wesley Smith assures readers that the freedom of expression is a “sacred American value.” He disagreed with the principal’s decision but agreed that it is the principal’s role to keep the campus “safe and orderly.”  “School leaders have to make judgment calls on when to take preventative measures to pre-empt a possible incident or conflict. In this situation, it appears that a decision was made too quickly”, said Smith.

Since the incident, the principal has issued a formal apology.

Photo: AP Images

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