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California Students Sent Home for Wearing U.S. Flags on Cinco de Mayo


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#1 Hostile

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 04:10 PM

Administrators at a California high school sent five students home on Wednesday after they refused to remove their American flag T-shirts and bandannas -- garments the school officials deemed "incendiary" on Cinco de Mayo.

The five teens were sitting at a table outside Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., on Wednesday morning when Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez asked two of them to remove their American flag bandannas, the Morgan Hill Times reported. The boys told the newspaper they complied, but were asked to accompany Rodriguez to the principal's office.

The five students -- Daniel Galli, Austin Carvalho, Matt Dariano, Dominic Maciel and Clayton Howard -- were then told they must turn their T-shirts inside-out or be sent home, though it would not be considered a suspension. Rodriguez told the students he did not want any fights to break out between Mexican-American students celebrating their heritage and those wearing American flags.

"They said we were starting a fight," Dariano told the newspaper. "We were fuel to the fire."

The boys told Rodriguez and Principal Nick Boden that turning their shirts inside-out was disrespectful, so their parents decided to take them home, the newspaper reports.



"I just couldn't believe it," Julie Fagerstrom, Maciel's mother, told the newspaper. "I'm an open-minded parent, but it's got to be on both sides. It can't be five kids singled out."

Galli told NBC Bay Area, "They said we could wear it on any other day, but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it."

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Morgan Hill Unified School District said it did not agree with the school's actions.

"In an attempt to foster a spirit of cultural awareness and maintain a safe and supportive school environment,

the Live Oak High School administration took certain actions earlier today," the statement read. "The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration's interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions."



Attempts to reach school officials early Thursday were not successful. A secretary told the Morgan Hill Times that Boden and Rodriguez were unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

According to its website, Live Oak High School is a 1,300-student institution in the southern part of Santa Clara County, with most students residing in the nearby cities of Morgan Hill and San Jose.

"The student population reflects the rich ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the community," the website reads.

More than 100 students were spotted wearing the colors of the Mexican flag -- red, white and green -- as they left school, including some who had the flag painted on their faces or arms, the Morgan Hill times reported.

While bandannas of any color are banned at the school, its dress code policy does not contain references to American flags.

"However, any clothing or decoration which detracts from the learning environment is prohibited," the policy reads. "The school has the right to request that any student dressing inappropriately for school will change into other clothes, be sent home to change, and/or be subject to disciplinary action."

Freshman Laura Ponce, who had a Mexican flag painted on her face and chest, told the Morgan Hill Times that Cinco de Mayo is the "only day" Mexican-American students can show their national pride.

"There was a lot of drama going on today," Ponce told the newspaper.

Some other Mexican-American students reportedly said their flags were taken away or asked to be put away, but no other students were sent home

on Wednesday.



Lis Wiehl, a former federal prosecutor and a Fox News legal analyst, said the incident appears to a "blatant" violation of the students' First Amendment right to free speech. She noted that inciting violence is an exception to a First Amendment legal defense, but Wiehl said she saw no indications that the students provoked anyone.

"Unless I'm missing something, this seems like a blatant violation of the First Amendment," said Wiehl, adding that uniforms are not required at the public school. "And they're wearing, of all horrific things, the American flag."

http://www.foxnews.c...ags-cinco-mayo/

#2 Mathijs

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 04:35 PM

Serves them right, frankly. Clearly they were a bunch of ''patriots'' trying to provoke the foarrnurs into a fight.

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#3 Vortigern

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 04:49 PM

I hate people sometimes. How did we end up with this whole pre-emptive attitude to giving offence where if something might possibly at some stage offend someone, it has to go? We had something like this a few years ago when a butcher got told he had to take down his flag on St. George's Day because it might offend the Muslim community in his area. What happened to the time when you could actually do stuff?
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#4 Beowulf

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 04:54 PM

What happened to the time when you could actually do stuff?

It died. You can thank people like Matias, the ACLU and the PC Police.

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#5 Mathijs

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 05:19 PM

Oh come on, you think these teenagers were doing this without trying to be edgy and provocative? Of course not, they just wanted to cause some mayhem by pissing off other dumb teenagers. Then some principal sees it, realizes it, sends them home to prevent trouble, and they turn around and go noooooo nooooooooo they take away our right to freeedom of speeeeeechhhh, we are just good patriotic amuurrrrkunssssss. Nonsense.

Heh, reminds me of something I did when I was a teenager. Our high school had a end-of-year party with an American high school theme to it, and we burned several of the American flags they hung up all over the place. Just to be edgy and provocative, of course. The principal, in his rage, tried to step on one to put the fire out, causing his shoe and pants to light up as well.

I got it away with it, too.

Edited by Matias, 06 May 2010 - 05:22 PM.

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#6 Beowulf

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 05:43 PM

You're a gigantic hypocrite.

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#7 Vortigern

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:00 PM

That's not the part I have a problem with. I don't care if these kids were trying to be provocative or whatever, it just pisses me off that, even though nobody had actually said anything to them about it, they were sent home rather than risk somebody getting a little hot under the collar. Society just needs to grow the fuck up already.
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#8 Allathar

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:36 PM

Indeed... Of course they were trying to be edgy and provocative, but they got a point though. Society really needs to grow up when it comes to things like this.

Reminds me, 20 may is going to be the 'everybody draw Muhammed' day. Another provocative thing which doesn't really serve a purpose beyond angering some radical muslims (well, and freedom of speech). Doesn't mean it can't amuse me though :grin:
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#9 Pasidon

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:57 PM

Serves them right, but they shouldn't of been served in the first place. It's like me being arrested for wearing my tin foil hat on Quanza to protect me from national stupidity.

Our high school had a end-of-year party with an American high school theme to it, and we burned several of the American flags they hung up all over the place.


:grin:

What the cuss? Weren't you just arguing against juvenile delinquency?

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#10 Imagine

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 09:10 PM

It's like me being arrested for wearing my tin foil hat on Quanza to protect me from national stupidity.


Isn't stupidity worldwide? I don't see what all the fuss is about really... so what some American teenagers wore T-shirts with American flags on them..... I should care because why? If they walked in with T-shirts saying "Go back to your own shitty hell-hole of a country you dumb taco eating bandits" then maybe I would understand.
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#11 Pasidon

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 09:15 PM

Mexicans are so sensitive, they'll freak out by the slightest hint of racism. And this whole Arizona immigration law is making people sympathetic to them for some reason, so this doesn't surprise me.

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#12 Mathijs

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 09:15 PM

What the cuss? Weren't you just arguing against juvenile delinquency?


Not really, I just said they had it coming.

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#13 Pasidon

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 09:42 PM

Oh, ok.

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#14 Elvenlord

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 03:52 AM

So everything's alright if it's against America, right Matias?

Anyways, this is crazy. They should be allowed to wear it. On the flip side, if that one student was right and that's the only day the Mexican-American students can wear Mexican flags, then they should be allowed to wear it all year. I sort of doubt they can't though, they just don't want to seem out of place.
And while we're at it, why does America celebrate a day the Mexicans defeated a French army anyway?

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#15 Pasidon

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 04:29 AM

You're preaching holy words. I have no clue... but probably because 80% of our population is Mexican and 90% of them are illegally here.

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#16 Beowulf

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 05:21 AM

And while we're at it, why does America celebrate a day the Mexicans defeated a French army anyway?

We don't really. Being that it's a holiday in Mexico, and a lot of areas are predominantly Mexican so they'd celebrate it as part of this diversity bullshit. I'm all for respecting cultures and letting them have it... in their own homes, but not in public. I don't particularly care for people shoving their traditions down my throat. It's obnoxious. >_>

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#17 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:07 AM

in my view all holidays for any country or religion should be celebrated cause then we get more days off :grin:

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#18 duke_Qa

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:39 AM

True dat :grin:

Also, wearing flags is not what I'd call politically incorrect behaviour, unless it was the swastika or something equally history-laden piece of cloth. Why would they be pissed off at Americans wearing their own flag in their own country at a foreign holiday?

At the 17th of may(Norway's 4th of july), we have big-ass marches of people waving the flag, and the last few years people from different countries living here have started to use their own flag in these marches. It's not a majority, but it doesn't really hurt the meaning of the celebration; That the people are happy for the country they are in and want to show their dedication, even if they originally come from other countries.

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