Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by BeatNavy, May 6, 2010.
OK, I grew up in Los Angeles and went to school with many a Mexican-American (a school where caucasians made up the smallest percentage of students) and nobody draped themselves in the Mexican flag colors on Cinco de Mayo. And by the way, even in those days, wearing gang uniforms was forbidden (those days red and blue bandannas for crips and bloods).
I can't speak for recent years, but unless this has been a tradition for a number of years, I would say that the administration made a major mistake by not asking ALL students to discard flag colored clothing (turn inside out or remove) as if this would appear to be bringing recent political battles inside the classroom by BOTH sides.
There are respectful traditions of displaying national pride and there are disrespectful ways of displaying national pride. I would guess that both sides were being disrespctful in their wearing of colors.
Our flag is a symbol of pride. There is no reason an American should ever be asked to remove a t-shirt with a respectful image of an American flag. The kids the assistant principal thought would be offended by the American flags are Mexican-AMERICANS. There is no reason why two nationalities cannot be celebrated alongside one another. Especially two nations as closely ties as Mexico and the United States.
I think the fact that a bunch of the kids wore the shirts on cinco de mayo makes it different. They knew it was cinco de mayo, and because of that, it seems as though their intentions were to be disrespectful of that holiday.
The fact that it was a group of kids also is important. If only one kid had worn a flag shirt, or it had been a different day in the year, then of course there is no reason why they shouldn't wear an american symbol like that. But under these circumstances, it seemed purposefully disrespectful and potentially dangerous, so I don't think it was wrong of the school to not condone that, in the interests of the safety of the students.
Any other time is a great time to wear an American flag at school, but not when it looks intentionally disrespectful. And that's just a matter of good behavior, not the law.
IMO, the school administration missed an opportunity for a teaching moment. Great time to dialogue with students about about choices in school clothing, history, and what it means to be a citizen of this country. The admin. has got to be able to handle the situation without sending students home. If they can't, they might be in the wrong line of work.
It should never be perceived to be disrespectful in this country to wear an American flag shirt. Although to some purists, it may be improper flag etiquette.
Indeed, as it is specifically prohibited in the US Flag Code Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8, paragraph (d):
The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.
Honestly, I didn't even know it was Cinco De Mayo until after I got home from school that day. What's the big deal, exactly?
Granted, the shirt violates the Flag Code, but still....? The First Amendment doesn't apply here?
Sounds like dumb decision.
Was it intended to be controversial? Probably.
Should you prohibit anything controversial, just because some people will take offense? NO!
I went to a high school where hispanic students would drape themselves in Mexican flags on Cinco de Mayo. I was a bit annoyed, but they were not doing anything illegal or harmful.
Same with wearing US Flag t-shirts. It is NOT harmful. The school is really stretching their limits, unless they have a particularly strict dress code already...
Does this mean an actual US flag or a shirt design that looks like it?
And wasn't the US flag worn as a cape by Olympians back when?
My personal favorite is whenever I see a doormat with the US flag on it. Really, wiping your feet on our flag? Who thought this one up?
The North Koreans?
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that in Tinker vs. Des Moines the Supreme Court allowed granted First Amendment rights to students concerning clothing. Unless is was disrupting activities. With it being cinco de mayo, I can see how the flag shirts would cause a problem.
The ruling allows students to express themselves via clothing and other forms of speech (the case was less about clothing than to what extent the first amendment applies to schools) so long as there isn't anything "materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school"
I guess it comes down to the question of Is wearing an American flag shirt disruptive to a school environment?
I don't see how it would be. And even if it was, wouldn't the display of a Mexican flag on clothing and such constitute a similar offense?
The flag code is talking about the ACTUAL flag, not representations of it.
All or nothing, either they can all wear flags, or none can.
The school district already came out and said the vice principal was wrong.
At what point does a representation of the flag become the flag?
Based on the interview with the kids here is my opinion:
I dont think the administration made them change the shirts simply because of cinco de mayo. My guess is it was because these kids were being disrespectful and obnoxious to those celebrating the day. Out of all days to wear the flag they chose cinco de mayo. They were probably taunting the mexican american population at the school...I'm assuming this because they had very punk-like attitudes. I mean the guy was wearing a "tapout" shirt with the US flag (probably the only patriotic shirt he had), I can tell you he wasn't wearing that to be patriotic, just obnoxious. If you went to school in Mexico and on July 4th (pretend school was in the summer), a couple punk kids wore the mexican flag not out of patriotism to their country but because they wanted to be obnoxious to the kids celebrating July 4th. IMO if someone is wearing an american flag to simply shame others rather than out of patriotism, they have the right to wear it, but I don't agree with them wearing it.
Basically, I have no issue with anyone wearing the American flag as long as the intent is for support and patriotism of the country. In this case it wasn't. Should the administration have made them change the shirt? Probably not. But they should of told these kids to learn some respect.
Imagine a group of American kids in a Mexican school celebrating the 4th of July.
Imagine that some of the Mexican kids wore representations of the Mexican flag that day.
Imagine the American kids demanding that the Mexican kids apologize for wearing their national flag.
When it is an ACTUAL flag.....this isn't rocket science, or trickery.....
What was the name of the assistant principal?
Separate names with a comma.