Thursday, May 06, 2010

Students Sent Home For Wearing American Flag T-Shirts On May 5th

I wear shirts with American flags on them--I have at least 2, perhaps 3--and sometimes I even wear them to school. I'm hoping there's a serious financial fallout from this idiocy:

Five Live Oak High School students' First Amendment rights were challenged this morning when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Officials at the school chose not to comment on the situation, but one student said an official called the T-shirts "incendiary"...

The boys were told they must turn their T-shirts inside-out or be sent home - and that it would not be considered a suspension - but that Rodriguez did not want any fights to break out among Mexican-American students and those wearing American flags. Dariano said other students were wearing American flags but since they were a group of five "we were the easiest target to cause trouble" according to Rodriguez, he said.


If fostering a "spirit of cultural awareness", in the words of a school district spokesperson, means that some students have to reject theirs, then the spirit is misguided.

Update: More on the legal issues, plus more intelligent commentary, at the internet's premier lawblog, the Volokh Conspiracy.

10 comments:

Mr. W said...

wondering where the ACLU is on this one. Imagine if kids wearing the Mexican flag were told to turn their shirts inside out or sent home on the Fourth of July...think anyone would notice that? I think we both know the answer to that one.

maxutils said...

My, what a horrible decision. I'd love to hear the Principal's testimony at the inevitable lawsuit. How on earth is he going to justify that in terms of a dress code? "Your honor, an American Flag is likely to disrupt the classroom, just as would a picture of an aborted fetus, or someone shooting heroin, or obscene language."

And, what does this say about the Principal's view of Latino students? Clearly he must believe them to be fiery and violent in nature, to be provoked by the wearing of a symbol that is benign at worst. I hope he took the trouble to take the American flags out of all the classrooms, too, just in case.

And, I might point out, this is yet another problem with dress codes: if you give idiots the power to tell people what to wear, they will eventually do something that you don't approve of. In this case, I doubt strongly that this would have caused a problem. And, if it would likely not be caused by the shirt wearers.

maxutils said...

There is hope . . . the school district came out with a statement that said they felt the vice principal's actions were wrong, that an investigation was pending, and that appropriate action would be taken. Not your usual waffling response . . .

Ellen K said...

Tolerance is only something to be demanded of the Right by the Left, never the other way around. I hope this administrator gets a huge warm feeling as he becomes this week's epitome of appeasement.

MikeAT said...

Darren

A kinda related issue from Houston. A student found a Mexican flag put higher than the US flag and took it down. The principal suspended the kid for three days.

I would like to kick the principal in the ass and show him the US Flag Code….no flag shall be placed higher than the US flag.

It was on a local radio show the host, Michael Berry asked his listeners to call the principal and school board. The school board shut down their phones.

Darren said...

Sounds like that school board got the message, Mike :)

MikeAT said...

Hopefully they get the message at the next election....

knowledge is power said...

This story is an example of how far down the tubes this country has gone.

Mark V said...

The school district where I live instituted a dress code several years ago back when the Confederate flag was the issue. No emblems or logos above a certain size are allowed, with two exceptions: the school mascot and the U.S. flag.

maxutils said...

What's more appalling than the school's actions? Reuben Navarrette's column berating the students, in which he blends amazing naivete, obscene double standards, willful ignorance of the constitution, and dumbfounding illogic. Enjoy, as you might a mouthful of tinfoil:

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/05/12/2743972/right-wing-trumpets-5-teens-who.html